Group Helps Teens ‘Rock Safe’ Online
Rocking safe in the digital era doesn’t mean making sure the cat’s not behind your chair. In Houston, it’s about educating online youngsters about the dangers of social networking while you bang your head to the latest MySpace rockers. Yeah, I know, “bang your head” is so Quiet Riot.
The Rock Safe program is a part of the greater Houston-based MyCityRocks initiative, founded in 2005, which has spread, as these online viral things go, to over 100 cities. Yes, there’s probably one near you. MyCityRocks was founded as a community devoted to responsible and safe partying. Rock Safe is about staying safe online.
Houston will host the Rock Safe Summer 2006 Concert on June 16th, featuring local bands to raise awareness about online safety and collect donations for a local women and children in crisis center called The Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
Dr. Cliff Kurtzman, MyCityRocks’ executive director, tapped WebProNews after a Texas girl filed a $30 million lawsuit against MySpace.com, alleging she was sexually assaulted by a 19-year-old who had lied about his age.
“To help educate young people in how they can avoid this kind of a situation,” writes Kurtzman, “MyCityRocks and The Bridge Over Troubled Waters launched the ROCK SAFE program in April of 2006.
“The goal of ROCK SAFE is to proactively help young men and women enjoy online social networking in a manner that is safe and responsible, and to provide them with tools and information they need to avoid individuals that might be abusive or predatory.”
The more novel of these tools is the AddMe Card, a sort of business card teens and young adults can have made through the organization. The AddMe Card is for new acquaintances young people meet offline, say at a concert or party, but are wary of giving out personal information like phone numbers or email addresses.
Instead, the AddMe Card has a photo and a link to an online profile on a site like MySpace. MyCityRocks will also provide HTML code for posting Web-versions on new friends’ profiles online.