I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, 2011/01/01, Vol: 7, p1
communications law, computer internet law, criminal law procedure, and governments
I. Introduction As a platform for user-generated content, the Internet has made it possible for people around the world to converse, share information, create communities, and mobilize around shared interests. Those who celebrate the Internet often revel in the moments where networked technology has enhanced political action, transformed information flow, or empowered communities of interest to generate new cultural artifacts. Critics often see flaws in the very same features, pointing to the potential for terrorism, crimes against minors, and the spread of problematic content. Anxieties about the Internet are particularly acute in relation to youth, who are seen as both uncontrollable deviants who must be punished and an impressionable population who must be protected. As a result, the Internet is often criticized as a sinister world where na ve teens fall prey to various assorted malevolent forces, or teens are vilified for using the Internet to indulge their darkest and wildest impulses, below the radar of parental authority. 1 Societal anxiety about youth online safety has historically focused on three core areas of concern: (1) sexual solicitation and sex crimes against minors; (2) bullying and harassment; and (3) access to illegal or problematic content. 2 More recently, the increased public discourse around user- generated content has introduced a new area of concern: youth-generated problematic content. This is not to say that teens were not contributing problematic content to the Internet throughout the 1990s and 2000s or that it was not of concern to adults, but rather that emergent ...