copa commission About the Commission Press Room Meetings and Hearings Research Papers About this site Return to Home Page Return to Hhome Page Hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee
Commissioner Srinija Srinivasan
Yahoo! Inc.

Since 1995, Yahoo! has reflected the power and potential of the Web, committed to being a fun, friendly, effective starting point for online exploration. The benefits of the Web to adults and children alike are innumerable and growing. In many cases, the Web has eliminated the boundaries of space and the limitations of time, bringing a staggering array of content, communication facilities, and commercial possibilities to anyone in the world, at any time, at the click of a mouse.

The myriad benefits of the Web are accompanied by some risks and potential dangers, however, particularly to young children who engage in online activities without appropriate supervision and education. Since the launch of Yahooligans! in 1996, Yahoo! has additionally been committed to providing a safe haven for children to explore online.

No single method or technology is a panacea for protecting children. In the "real world" we spend time teaching children to make good decisions about even seemingly simple tasks such as when and how to cross the road. The same care and attention is necessary to promote safety online. Ensuring that the Web is safe for children starts with educated and involved adults, who help children understand what's appropriate and how to avoid danger. Offline parental education resources, online one-click-away resources that highlight useful tools and technologies, and the incorporation of acceptable use policies are all highly accessible, effective methods that ensure parental involvement in children's online explorations.

Yahooligans! is built by a team of experienced educators who know how to create an entertaining, edifying experience for a young audience. Yahooligans! is full of content intended specifically for children, but the informed human judgment of the editors also allows for inclusion of a vast array of material that is age-appropriate even if targeted at a general audience. Content from sources such as the Smithsonian, the White House, NASA, or the New York Times may not fall within a limited children-only umbrella (such as a .kids domain), but greatly enhance a child's online experience. As a greenspace, Yahooligans! does not prevent children from venturing outside its walls, but by gathering and presenting a wealth of interesting, age-appropriate material, it provides children a safe, compelling environment to keep them from seeking harmful or inappropriate material outside the safe zone.

Keeping children from seeking harmful content is a crucial component of protecting them online. Keeping harmful content from seeking or finding children is also critical to ensuring a safe environment. The former is addressed through the active involvement of parents and teachers, as well as the use of greenspaces, educational resources, and acceptable use policies; the latter can be addressed with the use of various technological aids as well as through effective law enforcement.

While technology will never be a substitute for parental involvement, and no technology will ever replace the guidance of a caring teacher, many technological solutions exist that supplement non-technological methods of protecting children. Filtering and blocking software, as well as monitoring and tracking tools, can serve to exclude harmful content, complementing areas like greenspaces that include appropriate content.

When these various methods and technologies are coupled with effective law enforcement to stop bad actors, the Web offers unlimited potential for children to enjoy a safe, rewarding, entertaining and educational experience online.

It has been a privilege to serve on the Commission on Online Child Protection. I would like to thank the Yahooligans! team for sharing their insights with the Commission, and for their infectious enthusiasm and tireless dedication to creating a fun, friendly, enriching and safe place for children to go online. I am proud to be part of an organization that helps children have a safe, rewarding web experience.

I have been honored to serve with my fellow Commissioners, and I would like to thank each of them for their hard work and dedication to protecting children online, throughout the life of the Commission and beyond.

Home ] [ Final Report ] [ About this Site ] [ FAQ ] [ The Commission ] [ Press Room ]
Meetings and Hearings ] [ Research Papers ] [ Privacy Policy ] / Copyright © 2000