It is said be a safe, secure, “kids-only” social network for “tweens” ages 7-13. The site is using patent-pending facial recognition technology, moderation and kid-friendly features to teach kids positive online behavior, Internet safety and related life skills.
Compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), WhatsWhat.me (Beta) provides an age-appropriate, “no-bullying allowed” community that requires parental permission to join.
Its members can create profiles, interact with friends, join groups, play games, earn points and win prizes, in a fun kids’ social network that focuses on building skills while fostering appropriate online behavior.[ Also Read: Science Kits Entice Kids to Explore the World ]
For parents, it offers its online Parent Resource Center providing expert advice, news, Internet safety tips and information on cybersafety for children.
In another effort to educate teens about how to be smart about what they post and share online, the Ad Council has embarked upon a new collaborative initiative, the Internet Safety Coalition. It is developed to provide research-based messages to teens and their parents.
The collaboration will utilize the collective strengths of corporate marketers, the media, non-profit organizations and foundations to promote safe online and digital practices. (Read: Leaders Join Hands for Online Safety of Youth)[ Also Read: Knowledge Stories for Children ]
There are other dedicated social networks for kids. A “virtual science playground,” the Mad Science Kids Club offers children a science-based platform for connecting, exploring and learning with peers online through science enrichment programs.
The Mad Science Group has launched the network using online safety platform Everloop. It is claimed to be the first-ever science social network platform created specifically for kids. (Read: Now a Science Social Network for Kids)
“It concerns me that we teach kids how to cross the street but not how to behave online. We developed WhatsWhat.me (Beta) to give kids a safe, age-appropriate place to have fun and learn important online skills – while providing parents peace of mind. And, our Parent Resource Center is a great way for parents to learn about cyberspace safety for their children,” says Vincent Cannistraro, WhatsWhat.me (Beta) chief executive officer and founder.
Biometric Facial Recognition Technology & “MeKey” — Using a Webcam during registration to create a “MeKey” for each child, the “MeKey” checks and matches the child’s unique facial features at every login to ensure his or her authentic identity — through patent-pending facial recognition technology — providing a safe, secure, kids-only site. Photos are encrypted and stored on secure servers.
Report It! Button: Kids can report confidentially any improper online behavior; moderators review reports and take appropriate action with the kids, and if the violation is serious, the parents and/or law enforcement officials will be contacted.
Site Moderation — Professional moderators monitor the site and help kids turn online mistakes into teachable moments.
User-Approved Posts: All postings must be reviewed and approved by the recipient before becoming visible to others — effectively mitigating cyberbullying and teaching kids to “think before posting.”
Community Rules & Anti-cyberbullying Policies: Created by law enforcement and cyberspace experts, WhatsWhat.me (Beta) community rules are posted and reinforced; violators will not be tolerated,it says.
Age-appropriate Networking: Kids are only allowed to network with other WhatsWhat.me members one grade above or below their grade level, unless approved by a parent.
Secure Registration: Parents participate in the registration process, which requires a valid credit card to ensure parental approval and authentic identification.
Parent Resource Center (PRC): The section for parents to obtain important information about social networking and keeping their kids safe in cyberspace.
Membership: $3.95/month or $29.95 a year.
It was announced Wednesday, Jan. 19.
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