Anne’s Super-Secret, Pedophile-Free Diary

Anne’s Diary is a Canadian social network for 6 to 14-year-old girls (I read about it on the CBC’s Spark blog). It has two interesting security features to fend off child molesters and the like. To sign up for the service, kids need to get a non-parental adult professional as a sponsor (much like applying for a passport).

Secondly, you get a USB fingerprint scanner with your initial package, and I gather the kids use this to log in to the service. And yes, that’s as in Anne of Green Gables. With an ‘e’. No Prince Edward Island gable was ever this secure.

Actually, there’s one other cool feature that I like: “each Christmas the child will be sent a physical copy of their Diary with all of their entries included in it.”

I also wonder what their exit strategy is for girls who turn 15. Do they get summarily booted off the service? Is there another network (besides, you know, Facebook) that they graduate too? I emailed the company to ask, but they haven’t replied.

I posted this yesterday on MetaFilter, and some discussion ensued.


  1. I really, really hate this. My sister turns six next week, and there’s no way I’d encourage my parents to sign her up for this.

    Two reasons that basically go together: One, parents can’t monitor what they write. This isn’t about parents reading their kids diary, I disagree with that. This is about kids reading what they’re putting online. And even if you’re only talking to other 6-14 yr old kids… no.

    The other is one that was mentioned on metafilter: 6-14 yr old girls have more to worry about from other 6-14 yr old girls. I remember being one of those, and they’re psychotic. 🙂

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