"Best Practices" when kids, teens and branding is involved is more than providing vibrant graphics and interactive tools. If you are doing business with young people, you have to protect your user-demographic. This involves the thoughtful screening of content that you provide as well as user-generated-content the users provide. Cyberbullying, threats, impersonations, lewd and vulgar language and potentially illegal images can undo your business goals as fast as your young users can act. You have to protect them from predatorial adults and from each other.
User-abuse-reporting models are fine with most general audience sites. But youth UGC should be prescreened or post-screened as soon as possible after posting. Good filters that understand chat-lingo, sexual terms and how young people bully and harass each other have to be applied with experienced moderators to oversee it. WiredTrust doesn't rely on filters created by others. It built its own that is constantly learning from both our "kid advisors" (8-16 year olds) and from our experience in the trenches. (Pathway, WiredTrust's proprietary moderation and communication filtering tool is only available for our moderation services' clients to improve their safety and protect their users and brand.) Want to learn more about our moderation services? Click Here
COPPA. No matter how you pronounce it (it is pronounced with a soft "o", like "hot"), COPPA should be foremost for all kids industry networks, application developers, interactive game and communication tool providers. In December 2012 COPPA Rule changes were announced. These take effect in July 2013. So, even if you were COPPA-compliant before, you have to evaluate your practices against the new COPPA Rule. But understand that experienced practitioners can help you comply without changing your business or sacrificing fun for your users. Your consultants should think about your COPPA compliance. You should think about operating your business. To learn more about what COPPA is, was and what you need to do to comply, visit our COPPA section.
How do you keep your users as safe as the parents want them to be without turning off your young users and comply with COPPA and industry best practices at the same time? That takes insight. And it takes experience in juggling the challenges of doing it right while being successful in the kids space. No one has more experience in this space than WiredTrust's founder and Managing Director, Parry Aftab, Esq.
"WiredTrust is one of the most important leaders in the internet safety industry. We are proud to partner with them to help to educate kids and parents about this important topic."
- Dave Finnegan, Chief Information Bear
Build-a-Bear Workshop Inc.
WiredTrust represents the leading social networking, gaming, and family sites on the Internet as well as many sites designed especially for kids. Entertainment and digital media companies come to us when they encounter problems because they know we see solutions and work closely with them to create the safest sites possible.