Kids Online

From IdCommons

Kids Online: Balancing Safety and Fun




This page is from our first conference..

Our first conference was November 13th, 2008 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA following the 7th Internet Identity Workshop. It was a great success. Many people were thrilled to have enough time and space to really talk with other people who shared their passion about kids online. We must thank our sponsors who made the day of rich conversation possible.

Privo **** Microsoft **** Information Card Foundation **** Dubit

Kids Online is a working group of Identity Commons community of groups and organizations addressing the social, technical and legal issues that arise with the emerging identity layer of the web. You can read the Kids Online Charter here. Denise Tayloe is the representative on the Stewards Council (board).

Overview of the Day

We began with looking at Safety - by asking everyone to share the 3 most important things they thought it was important to protect kids from online. You can see a photo later today and it will be typed up by early next week.

We then when on to get a list of the technologies that we knew about to help make kids online. It was not comprehensive nor did we have a chance to dive into all the pros and cons of each. It did surface a vast range. You can see a photo later today and it will be typed up by early next week.

Then we got to FUN and in small groups brainstormed "Tactics of FUN" and then reported out a list of about 40 tactics. A few key things surfaced in the report outs one was that kids have developmental needs and that in seeking to meet these they this is part of what is driving them to seek things that feel fun. This saying also came up The "new" kids safety online is Digital Citizenship. You can see a photo later today and it will be typed up by early next week.

We then went on to make the agenda that included (notes are still being collected and will be posted next week on the wiki):

  • The Globalization of Safety
  • Children Using Adult Spaces
  • Identity Tech Tools 101
  • Lunch Time – babbling, rambling, and other such….
  • Identity Management for Kids
  • Legal Issues Now & Beyond – Coppa/Task Force
  • State of OnLine Safety – reality check!
  • Next Steps for This Kids OnLine Community
  • Filtering + Moderation/guidelines & chat filter best practices
  • Economics of Moderation
  • Marketing Catch-All from 4 different proposed sessions that merged.

Outcomes of the Day

We discussed the language around "best" practices and some alternative ways of framing this work arose - good practices, effective practices and shared practices. This group operates in a transparent manner and have a commitment to evolving over time.

Practices for Safety and Fun

  • Compiling a list of good, effective and shared practices for keeping kids safe online.

Continuing Conversation for the Kids Online Community:

  • A Mailing List has been brought up - you can subscribe here.
  • A wiki is being set up and will be live early next week.
  • An aggregate blog will be set up soon so we can read each other's posts by going to one place - this will be up in several weeks.
  • We plan to host a monthly conference call to check in with the community and move forward.
  • Sharing Resources like bringing together the dictionary of slang words.

Expanding the conversation about Kids Online:

PODCAST - Joi will be organizing a podcast about Kids Online for this community.

Face to Face Meetups/Conferences

  • Host meetups at related conferences to grow the community. FOSI will be first.
  • Host Kids Online in North America with next 6-8 months.
  • Host Kids online in London within the next 4 months.


  • Convene several conferences for Parents of Kids.
  • Convene several conferences for Kids themselves.

Original Invitation

Our goal is to leave the day with greater clarity around some core best practices and have next steps as an industry to help kids being safer online. All of the attendees will make up the agenda together at the event itself. We do welcome ideas and suggestions for topics you hope get discussed the day of the event.

This is a day to dive in and work collaboratively on these kinds issues around kids online:

  • Who and what are we trying to protect digital kids from?
  • Are there standards and norms in practice that we can leverage to formalize best practices for industry?
  • Kids fake their ages to gain access to online content, do we as an industry care? If so, then?
  • How do we create best practices that are flexible based on age range, content and willingness for parental involvement by industry or the child?
  • How can we create cyber spaces that balance interesting and fun with safety?
  • What is the role of government in either defining or supporting best practices?

Who this (un) conference is for:

  • Online Community/Virtual World Managers
  • Policy officers and Security Officers at large companies
  • Consultants in the kids online space
  • Identity technologists
  • State Attorney Generals
  • Legislative Staffers
  • Parents and Kids
  • Academics in the field
  • Blogger

Adult attendees of the conference are welcome to bring their children ages 10-25 to participate in the conversations. There will not be child care, this is about talking about the issues with the constituents we are talking about present.

We are bringing together a range of practitioners and experts to work collaboratively for a day together. Our goal is to leave the day with greater clarity around some core best practices and have next steps as an industry to help kids being safer online.

More about the Format

This conference uses open space to support the agenda creation it is unconventional and it has also had incredible results. The user-centric identity community - the folks who are gathering for the 7th Internet Identity Workshop just before this day have been using it for years with great results. Kaliya Hamlin has also been the facilitator at Forum One's Online Community Unconference