CON Social Networking Sites
1. Social networking sites entice people to spend more time online and less time interacting face-to-face. The sites offer many time wasting activities that supplant more productive activities. Teens spend an average of nine hours per week on social networking sites (950 KB) .  2. Teens growing up with these sites may not be aware that the information they post is public and that photos and text can be retrieved even after deletion. Consequences from over-sharing personal information include vulnerability to sexual or financial predators and lost job opportunities from employers finding embarrassing photos or comments. 3. Social networking sites have no way to verify that people are who they claim to be, leaving people vulnerable to solicitations from online predators who are able to mask their true identities. In Feb. 2009, MySpace identified 90,000 registered sex offenders with profiles on the site, while Facebook declined to reveal how many were present on its site. Even if the sites agree to remove sex offenders, they cannot identify all of them or stop them from creating new accounts.  4. Social networking sites make cyberbullying, a type of bullying that occurs online, easier and more public than bullying through other online activities such as email and instant messaging. A 2009 study found that 17.3% of middle school students have been victims of cyberbullying.  Victims often experience a drop in grades, decreased self-esteem, and other symptoms of depression.  5. The US Marine Corps banned the use of all social media sites on its networks because the sites are "a proven haven for malicious actors and content and are particularly high risk due to information exposure, user generated content and targeting by adversaries."  The entire Department of Defense is considering a ban on social networking sites because of concerns over security threats and potential computer viruses. 6. The use of...
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