Virtual monitors keeps children happy!

Virtual worlds for children and teenagers websites like Neopets, Club Penguin and Habbo are a big business. On these sites, children create an avatar and, with it, explore an imaginary universe. They can play games, chat and decorate virtual rooms or other spaces.

By the end of this year, there will be 70 million unique accounts – twice as many as last year – in virtual worlds aimed at children under 16.

As the number of these virtual world’s grows, so, too, does the demand for sophisticated monitoring software and people, called moderators, who can act as virtual playground monitors. Tamara Littlleton, chief executive of eModeration, a company based in London that provides moderation services, says the most common dangers that children and teenagers face online are bullying and young people’s own efforts to share personal information that could enable strangers to contact them in the real world.

The software is integrated into a virtual world’s site. If the technology uncovers slang or other patterns matching signs of bullying or sexual predation, it sends an alert to a moderator, who can then go through the entire conversation, as well as at every posting from either participant.

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