Greg Swan on Fox 9 discussing Formspring

February 17, 2011 — Leave a comment

I was interviewed for Fox 9’s investigative report on Wednesday, “Is Formspring a New Forum for Bullying?

The report focused on Formspring, a fast-growing social community that is part of the a new Q&A trend that includes Quora and Facebook Questions.

Because users are allowed to ask questions anonymously, many questions involve topics or sentiment one may not say to someone’s face. Like any social network of this nature, anonymity increases the chance for hurtful comments that can contribute to bullying.

However, I was quick to point out most sites, including Formspring, have privacy settings to help users avoid such situations.

Formspring is just one of many (and many to come) social sites that can be used both positively and negatively, depending on the user. And although it’s difficult to cite a social network for fault when its users misbehave, there are tangible consequences to naiveté when it comes to privacy.

Ultimately, responsibility comes down to vigilant parenting matched with ongoing education to equip today’s teens at how to navigate a changing social landscape.

Watch the segment here.

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