The latest edition (Version 4.0) of my PFF special report on "Parental Controls and Online Child Protection: A Survey of Tools & Methods" is now up. For those not familiar with the report, it explores the market for parental control tools, rating schemes, education and media literacy efforts, and various other tools, methods, and initiatives aimed at promoting online child safety. After evaluating that state of this market, I conclude: "There has never been a time in our nation's history when parents have had more tools and methods at their disposal to help them decide what constitutes acceptable media content in their homes and in the lives of their children." Moreover, I believe that the parental controls and content management tools cataloged in the report represent a better, less restrictive alternative to government regulation.
Version 4.0 of the report is now over 250 pages long (up from 200 pages in Version 3.0) and it contains almost 70 exhibits (up from 50), 725 references (up from roughly 500), and numerous updates in all five sections of the book. Major updates have been made to the Internet, social networking, and mobile media sections, reflecting the growing importance of those sectors and issues. Other new sections or appendices have also been added to the report, including: