Harvard professor sees answers to nagging web-youth issues

John Palfrey, one of Harvard’s leading thinkers on the internet, recently finished a study on kids raised in the digital age and now has a few tips to share about shielding kids from web pornography and keeping them from downloading copyright-protected files, CNET reports. Palfrey, a Harvard law professor and director of the school’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, visited CNET’s headquarters on Sept. 16 to discuss the findings of a recent study of a group he calls "digital natives." After completing 100 in-depth interviews with young people, ages 13 to 22, Palfrey sees some possible solutions to problems confronting web-connected youth. For example: Turn young digital pirates into content owners. Palfrey found that the music industry isn’t popular with young people, and they believe they’re "sticking it to the man" when they pirate music. Their attitudes changed when they perceived themselves to be doing harm to some other person, however. "I’m completely convinced that the answer in the long-term sense is to encourage kids to be in the posture of a creator themselves," Palfrey said. "Once they get in a posture of being an artist, which so many kids are on a daily basis in some respects, I think there is great promise in their willingness to empathize with creators…"

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