A Code of Ethics for the Publishers of Interactive Media for Children

by Warren Buckleitner
  • I will not sell development, e.g., “smarter, brainy kids,” without specific references to valid studies.
  • I won’t hold a child’s past work or experience hostage, as an incentive to renew a subscription or purchase an additional product.
  • I’ll understand the difference between informing and selling, especially when embedding brand names and/or including in-app sales techniques.
  • I won’t exploit a tired, flustered parent for my own profit.
  • I will identify (with name and affiliation) the authors, writers and developers who created my product.
  • I will disclose costs in clear language at the start of the consumer/publisher relationship.
  • I’ll read and abide by the Consumer Reports WebWatch guidelines.
  • My product or service will treat every child the way I’d treat my own child or grandchild.
  • If I sponsor a contest that will involve the public school system (e.g., students, teachers, classroom time that is funded by public money) I will not use products with indirect costs (a) require an additional subscription or (b) tease or tempt children with add-on content that costs money after the school year ends. I will also make sure that every child has equal access the same set of tools and content.
  • I will not confuse marketing with educating.

Note: Technology changes quickly. If you want to add a suggestion, send me an email or edit the page directly, and please identify your contributions.

Citation: Buckleitner, W. (2011), A Code of Ethics for the Publishers of Interactive Media for Children, online at http://bit.ly/eo9cui