14 May 2008

Penguins offer safer surfing

(FT)
Club Penguin, the virtual online world for six- to 14-year-olds is rapidly growing into a global phenomenon. Club Penguin has 20m users and analysts estimate up to 10 per cent of them have persuaded parents to pay about £4 a month for souped-up access to the site. Safety features were a big selling point from the outset. Club Penguin employs more than 100 moderators who monitor the site for unsafe behaviour. They are trained to spot bullying, or attempts to share contact details. Pictures cannot be posted on the site. Instead, children are represented by a colourful penguin. Filtering software prevents phone numbers being published.