Children are not only faced with the threat of online preditors, they are also targeted by the commercial world. In 1968, an advocacy program called A.C.T. was created to fight commercialization and non-educational information on children's television. The internet is showing the same need for advocates.
Lawrence J. Magid wrote that "cereal makers, toy vendors and other companies with a stake in the booming kids' maket are going online."
These vendors are eager to take their products online. This can be a wonderful option for adults who don't want to leave their house to shop, and it has been seen as the new catalogue industry. However, where there is an opportunity for progress, there is also room for exploitation. According to Jeff Chester, executive director of Center for Media Education, "kids influence $150 billion in spending and they directly spend $50 billion per year.
"By using the Web and online services, advertisers can not only influence children's brand loyalties," Chester said, "but can als entice kids to actually buy products online or provide advertisers with valuable, and potentially dangerous, information." (Magid, Computer Currents)
Violence in schools has become a horribly large problem throughout the country. The Internet has been a suspect in almost every case of school violence, blamed for negative ifluence on children. After the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Col., CNN called Lawrence J. Magid for an interview. As an expert in online safety, Magid saw the internet as suspect before he saw it on the news. Authorities found a Web site that the two boys made, including hateful information and direction teaching visitors how to build a bomb.
"I suppose it's possible that some of the filtering programs could be configured to block kids from posting hateful messages. . ." Magid said, "but let's face it, if a kid is savvy enough to create a web site, chances are that the parents aren't going to prevent it by technological means." (Magid, Don't Shoot the Internet/Safekids.com)