What's the craziest thing that ever happened to you on chatroulette and such sites?
A: I think it's important for kids to understand that any type of online behavior is likely to be repulsive to some children and extremely so to others. I'm certainly not trying to minimize the harm that some forms of behavior may cause or attempt to minimize or mitigate it, but I think it's important for kids to understand that there are consequences for bad online behavior and that children deserve and can learn these kinds of consequences in real life, in situations where those consequences are real.
JS: So what about peer pressure? Is it real? I mean, you write in the book about how peer pressure can actually cause harm. I mean, does it actually matter what kids read or what sites they go to or what sites they're on? Because, you know, even surfing the web in a non-selective way, some peer, some anonymous pressure, can actually cause harm.
AA: Look, Chris Anderson, who wrote the book that was a chapter in it, is correct that certain types of online behavior do cause harm. But what I'm trying to say is that it's a different kind of harm -- a different kind of harm caused by what -- by what we term pleasure, or what we might call pleasure seeking, rather than what's actually occurring on the web itself.
That said, I do think that there is a real problem with what's happening on the web. And what's really happening on the web is an explosion of grief tourism, where people come here from all around the world who have been threatened, physically or psychologically, because of the online behavior of others. And I would argue in the book that the primary way to stop this is to prevent the harm that's occurring on the web in the first place.
JS: I mean, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to prevent the harm that's happening on the web, but it's there. It's already out there. It's just getting flagged as such.
AA: Yes, we do flag it as such, Chris.
It's labeled as such.
JS: And how do you decide what's actually profanity-laced GIFs or whatnot? Well, you can't just assume that it is, because it could be GIFs of somebody else making fun of the speech that it's laughing at.
AA: Right. Well, we do try to flag it as such, but there are cases when it's quite hard to tell.
JS: Right. So how do you know something is profane and not?
AA: Well, there's a couple of ways. The first is to experiment. Have someone else experiment. Have them experiment on somebody else.
Like, have a beer and a talk. Have a beer and a friend. Have a person actually experiment with something that