Citation: Majoras, Deborah Platt. “Rights and Responsibility: Protecting Children in a Web 2.0 World.” Keynote Address at Family Online Safety Institute. 6 December 2007. Federal Trade Commission. 6 April 2009. http://ftc.gov/speeches/majoras/071206fosi.pdf.
This document is the copy of a speech made by the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission describing methods used to protect children from dangers lurking online, including harmful content, cyber bullying, and privacy invasion. After describing the media use of children and some of the dangers they face online, Majoras summarizes the law enforcement efforts the FTC has taken to prevent exposure to harmful content. The laws the FTC works to enforce have provisions including requiring adult content to be notified as such in the e-mail tagline and preventing websites from asking children too much personal information. Majoras then describes the FTC’s push and efforts to educate and empower parents and children to stay safe. These efforts are viewed by the FTC as important because first amendment restrictions will prevent the government from being able to completely restrict dangerous content themselves. Marjoras also said that it is important for companies to self-regulate content. Majoras concludes by stating that a multidisciplinary approach is needed in solving this problem.
This article is important in the broader context of regulating Internet content for children, because the FTC is a major governmental organization involved in the issue. A governmental organization believing that education and self-regulation needs to supplement governmental regulation enhances the importance of education and self-regulation, which could be seen as an alternative to the government. This article gives good specifics about the role of the FTC in law-enforcement and education, and describes different features of education programs and self-regulating devices; those details could be useful for figuring out the absolute best way to determine how to protect children. Although this article was written by someone in the Bush administration, it is likely that the opinions of Obama’s FTC workers are not too different; protecting children from harmful content on the Internet is a bipartisan issue.