Web advertising targeted to children: Prospects for regulating and establishing *policy
Samuel Joshua Friedman, Teachers College, Columbia University, United States
Teachers College, Columbia University . Awarded
The emergence of the Internet as a global form of communication has raised issues regarding advertising to children. Because this area is so new, little research is available. We have attempted to examine a number of areas.
The coverage of legal issues has caused examination of our First Amendment protection and its relation to mass communication and the World Wide Web.
Further, areas concerning the regulation of the Internet are: (1) Defining it as a broadcaster or as a publisher. (2) The significance for free speech. (3) Parental supervision. (4) Technological content and filtering.
Behavioral areas addressed include the work of Piaget, Turkle, and others, and their investigation of children and adaptive behavior. A concern expressed is how Internet technology and games modify children's development. Piaget's theories on child development address how children assimilate information at different stages of their maturation. Sherry Turkle examines how human-computer interaction, as related to the Internet, has shaped our perception of self.
The accelerating pace of technology and its impact on the future is another area of concern. Deciding the issue of promise vs. performance as a construct of technological design is an area for exploration. Creating a rationale for shaping the future of technology and implementing its design is also discussed. Understanding how computer technology and the World Wide Web create virtual worlds for children is also studied. Further, defining the Internet and determining it regulation constitutes censorship is addressed. Also, the commercial imperative of corporate America is critiqued within the context of on-line advertising. We have attempted to constructively speculate about the impact of the World Wide Web on children in the immediate future.
Friedman, S.J. Web advertising targeted to children: Prospects for regulating and establishing *policy. Ph.D. thesis, Teachers College, Columbia University.
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