Case 4: Privacy vs. promoting results

When working with minors one must be really careful with privacy issues. That is why we were so tempted to create closed environments for the Polish INCLUSO group - the participants were in majority under 18. However, for young people, using a closed network was not attractive at all. Why? Because they wanted the results of their work to be visible on the Web. What is the point of making a movie, if we do not let people watch it?

At first we used only a closed online forum. After several months we decided to switch to the Ning portal because it offered a number of functionalities. We went for a half-private group, which meant that our movies and major discussions could be viewed by all net surfers. Plus we decided to upload the movies on YouTube. We compromised privacy, but we gained young people's attention. At this very moment other young people from 'U Siemachy' Association noticed the INCLUSO project and started asking whether they could join.

Undoubtedly, an open environment is a double edged sword. Our actions have become much more visible, but in consequence our network has become more attractive for spammers and other "intruders". A week before the end of the pilot we got a 'gatecrasher' in our network. Now we need to decide what to do in this situation.