Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nickelodeon Promotes Inappropriate Content

I am not a techie who believes in locking down the net for the greater good.  How can we raise responsible internet community citizens if we keep everything behind locked filters and never demonstrate appropriate internet behaviors? 
Because I have this open access policy, and faith that it is the responsibility of every provider of content targeted at children to maintain their integrity and self police the information they support, it makes me very angry when I find flagrant fouls of common decency.  That is why I must put Nickelodeon on BLAST!!
On the Nickelodeon website, there is a small drop down button that says MORE.  If you choose ADDICTINGGAMES.COM, the screen refreshes and you see an ad at the top of the screen that states "You are now leaving Nick.Com".  Fair enough, but what happens next is the issue that I have with Nickelodeon and it's parent company, Viacom.
One of the things that I teach students (and adults) in my profession is to never click on any floating ad that appears on the screen.  Advertisers have gotten slick with their advertisement practices, and the more it shines and glitters, the more likely someone is to click on it.  (Why do you think Vegas is so popular with it's flashing lights and bells and whistles in the casino?)  So students and adults have been trained to ignore ads that proclaim 'you have won a free purse! Click here to claim prize."
Once the advertisement that you are leaving Nick.com disappears, a gray toolbar remains at the top of the screen for AddictingGames.com.    On the right hand side of the toolbar, the Nickelodeon emblem remains.  Does the previous disclaimer really override the fact that AddictingGames.com has the nickelodeon promotion at the top of the page?  Isn't this a problem with truth in advertising?
 Here is where the inappropriate content arises.  Scroll down the page and look at some of the games offered by AddictingGames.com.    If you look at the Life and Style games, you will be shocked at what your children are offered to play.  Naughty Beach, Naughty Elevator, and Candy the Naughty Cheerleader are just a few of the games under the toolbar at the top of the page that states NICKELODEON.  Notice that the top right of the toolbar doesn't promote the parent company, VIACOM.  Anyone playing any of the games under the heading NICKELODEON are definitely not experiencing games that are directed at Nickelodeon's targeted audience!
I have no answer as to how to combat such a violation in the decency of internet content for children.  All I know is this..  sites make money off of the ads they can host and the clicks you make on their site.  Boycott Nickelodeon and AddictingGames.com until they take the protection of our children seriously!

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