Dealing with children as children
TwoTen takes a different approach to protecting children online by adopting that commonly used with children in other parts of life. Consider the play boundaries; when a child is two or three they are allowed to play only in very safe, controlled areas, perhaps in a room on their own that a parent, teacher or other responsible adult has made safe; as they get older the child might be allowed to play in the garden on their own. Maybe when they are six or seven the child might be allowed to play in the street near the house; by eight be allowed to go around the corner to a friend’s house or take the oft-walked route to school alone.
Current filtering solutions are grounded in the idea of preventing adults and teenagers from accessing particular types of material, a job they do reasonably well; they are not about setting and then expanding boundaries, but in classifying sites as they are uncovered so that they become unavailable. Not only is this a reactive approach, preventing access to the bad site after someone has already encountered it, but it is the play boundary equivalent of saying to a child of five “play anywhere in the city you like, just don’t go anywhere on this list of streets I know are dangerous in some way”.
Every culture, every community and every parent will have different ages at which they allow boundaries to be relaxed; but they all have these limits that expand as the child grows. TwoTen allows you to set and expand the limits on the web.