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Issue: Online Privacy: Annenburg Internet and the Family Study
Comments from Chris Hunter, Ph.D. Candidate, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania--

The Annenberg Public Policy Center's "The Internet and The Family 2000" survey focuses on Internet connected-families' concerns about online privacy, but it also has a few interesting questions on how parents feel about "dangerous" net content. This is the second time we've conducted this survey so we can see how attitudes are changing over time. Two questions in particular reveal a trend towards less fear of net content:

"I am concerned my child/children might view sexually explicit images on the Internet."
1998 - 76% agree
2000 - 72% agree (statistically significant difference)

"The Internet is a safe place for my children to spend time."
1998 - 40% agree
2000 - 51% agree (statistically significant difference)

In my humble opinion these results show that the Internet is becoming a mainstream medium. As more people come online, look around, and get comfortable with the technology, they realize that the net is not as dangerous as media reports have led them to believe. I would anticipate that as more and more people come online, this trend will continue.

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