This is may be the most important march we’ve had in South Africa since 1913 when Gandhi organized to protest the restrictions that had been imposed on the Indian population of South Africa — the first massive civil disobedience campaign.
I am bringing into the AAC aspects of online addiction that includes Internet pornography, online gambling, social networking aka Facebook, MXit, cellphone addictions and its results. After interviews with Dr Anwar Jeewa on Channel Islam and over 200 talks at schools across South Africa, I know its real. Dr Helgo Schomer @ UCT and Dr Andrew Thatcher @ WITS will be able to confirm this.
Anyway please see the press release for Friday’s protest action. I will be there, along with Warren Whitfield, the Chairman of the Addiction Action Campaign to answer any and all questions from the press with a live press conference immediately after the march and handover of the memorandums to SABMiller & their cadre 😉
p.s. Ek kan onderhoude doen in Afrikaans, geen probleem!
On Friday 30 October 2009, the Addiction Action Campaign will be holding its first protest action in SANDTON.
“Is it right to profit from addiction?”
Continue reading “Addiction Action Campaign – People Before Profit Protest March”
Recent media reports indicate another spike in MXit related incidents ranging from teen abductions to children spreading pornography. On the business side MXit is entering online payments and mobile banking arena and will probably continue it’s relationship with MNET Idols reality TV show facilitating voting for the contestants. Families, schools and communities have always been up in arms over the last three years. In my public talks to schools and church groups I have tried my best to explain both the pro’s and the con’s to my audiences.
When children get access to technology like cellphones or the Internet at an early age, they often do so without any guidelines. So it becomes very important for parents to understand what those guidelines are and to adopt them from an early age. If not they run the risk of these online incidents that take place on MXit or Facebook for that matter to spill over into their daily lives. The incidents appear to be on the increase because MXit user base has continued to grow and now has over 11 million registered users. The number of international users are also on the increase, which wides the possibilities for abuse from people in other countries with your children in South Africa.
Unlike computers there is no software available to block or track what people do on cellphones. Each make of a cellphone practically runs a different operating system, which makes it difficult for software developers to create these software so freely available on the Internet for PC users. Both Vodacom and MTN have some limited mechanism for parental control. In all cases I encourage parents to install those options where avaialable. Please remember it will not block or control what children can do on MXit. The MXit platform exists outside of these parent control measures. So it sounds like you’re back to square one.
What parents can do is focus on open and regular dialogue with your children. All I’m saying is the basics of parenting. One specific thing I encourage parents to do is to begin using MXit themselves. In the first place it begins to demystify the technology for the parents themselves and it also shows the kids that parents are willing or able to learn and understand. In many cases I believe children are very open to showing their family members how to benefit from these fun technologies. In most cases the approach from the parents is one of control because of a lack of understanding.
Anyway here’s some basic guidelines to follow from MSNBC slightly adapted.
Teach your children to:
# Think before they click: With whom are they chatting (MXit) or e-mailing (Facebook), what are they saying and how are they saying it? Will the person on the other end know they are joking?
# Walk away from the computer or put the cellphone down and “Take 5” before responding to something that upsets them online
# Avoid spreading rumours, assisting in cyberbullying or sharing private communications online.
# Follow the golden rule of cyberspace: Don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t do in real life!
Follow responsible safety practices yourself on your computer:
# Install spyware and adware blocking software on your computer
# Make sure you have a working firewall on your computer
# Install anti-virus software and update it regularly
# Take advantage of spam-blocking tools offered by your Internet provider or e-mail software
A shocking study has revealed that almost half of all children in America between 10 and 17 years old have been exposed to pornography. About 80% of those exposed pornography was displayed during unrelated searches. Filtering software does reduce the risk of unwanted exposure. The full study is being published in the February edition of Paediatrics. Go here to read the full article on Bloomberg.
In a unrelated incident a married Hong Kong man was caught with over 27,000 child pornography pictures here.