Sunday, October 13, 2013

You asked for more blogs, so here you are. Competitive Edge on Safety Online - Google, Microsoft and Facebook

The International Stop Cyberbullying Youth Summit is modeled after youth summits I host at the US Senate annually  since 1999.

Over the years everyone from Disney, to Nickelodeon, to MTV, to Webkinz, to Facebook, to Microsoft, to Google and Sesame Street have joined us at our Wired Kids Senate Summits. The best thinkers, policymakers and NGOs join us as well.

One year Google's sr rep was sitting on the same panel as Microsoft's, Facebook's and Yahoo's sr reps. We were discussing cyberbullying and safety best practices. I asked them if "safety is a competitive issue." I meant, do they try to one-up each other by keeping their safety expertise to themselves, as trade secrets, instead of sharing ways to make all kids safer. But Google's rep heard it differently.

"Safety is a very competitive issue," he shared. "If your competitors are adopting safer practices, you can't not adopt them too. Those who don't take safety into consideration are left behind."

I was so happy to hear that there is a rush to safety when others become safer. This will only make things better. Many of the big guys come to the same handful of experts to help them. Most come to me and to wiredsafety and for help and advice. While announcements are carefully guarded and the first out of the box is kept confidential until launch, they all want to know if they are doing a good job and if there are ways to help them do a better job.

I, for one, am thrilled to have the top brains at Google, Microsoft and Facebook work on ways to connect us more safely. I bet you are too.

Got ideas for questions we can ask them at @youthsummitpei International Stop Cyberbullying Youth Summit in Nov? They are coming to PEI to help young people build an action plan for all stakeholders, including industry leaders, to address cyberbullying.