The Biggest Tech Controversies of 2013 (So Far)

Nora Grenfell
The Biggest Tech Controversies of 2013 (So Far)
Mom Gives Son a Christmas iPhone -- With Strings Attached

Mom Gives Son a Christmas iPhone -- With Strings Attached

Blogger Janell Burley Hofmann gave her son an iPhone for Christmas -- and it came with a contract. Hofmann's rules went viral, prompting a lengthy discussion about good parenting in the digital age. Griffin Greenberg felt that the rules of smartphone etiquette should be implied and ingrained. But commenter Ben Mordecai responded that this mom's strategy ensured that both parties were clear about the expectations of technology use.

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The apocalypse didn't arrive in 2012, the world kept spinning and we made it to 2013. The top comments of the new year centered on an evaluation of our priorities and a look ahead at what's to come. We're only a week into the new year, but we're already discussing parenting, First Amendment rights and problems arising for LinkedIn.

Will 2013 be the year that every child becomes the owner a smartphone? It was certainly the year that mother and blogger Janell Burley Hofmann decided that her 13-year-old son was ready for an iPhone, but not without a few ground rules. Hofmann gave her son a new phone and an 18 point contract, which quickly went viral online. Some readers though that her rules were extreme; on the opposite end of the spectrum, Hofmann's parenting skills were lauded. What did you think of Hoffman's rules? You can let us know in the comments or by taking this poll.

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Could the end of parody Twitter accounts be nigh? Probably not, but a new bill introduced by Arizona legislators wants to outlaw online impersonation. Arizona has already effectively banned trolling, but this bill would go further to prohibit accounts created with "malicious intent." Do you think your favorite parody accounts would be protected by the First Amendment, or does the language of the bill leave parodies open to prosecution?

Finally, Mashable Business editor Todd Wasserman penned an op-ed calling LinkedIn's endorsements feature "meaningless." Most commenters agreed, though there were a few who stood up for LinkedIn's new feature.

2013 is off to many great discussions. We've also already made (and likely broken) a bunch of tech-related resolutions. Check out what other readers are pledging for 2013 by looking at a our Facebook poll. Add your voice to the conversation on Mashable and you could be featured in the top comments next week!

Image courtesy of Flickr, courosa

This story originally published on Mashable here.