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Like Taking Candy From a Baby: How Young Children Interact with Online Environments

Young children are embracing the online world in increasing numbers, mirroring the growth of highspeed Internet connections. But what do children do online? Do Internet sites designed for children offer legitimate options for fun and learning? Or are they an example of exploitation in the new media frontier, tools of commerce designed to manipulate children into asking parents to buy toys, subscriptions, lip gloss or a ticket to a forthcoming movie? Our ethnographic observations of ten New Jersey families over the course of several weeks uncovered numerous examples of both.