Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cyber Darkness: Internet Predators

Dateline's been doing the world a public service by shaming sexual predators in a series of reports entitled, "To Catch a Predator." Together with a group calling itself Perverted Justice, they troll the internet posing as pubescent children (12-13 year old boys and/or girls) and arrange for "dates" with would-be child molesters and rapists. The third installment, which aired on February 3, resulted in 50 arrests in three days in one southern California neighborhood. This is another example of the darkside of Myspace and internet blogging. Predators lurk where children are, and as more tech savy youth share more of themselves online, salivating, slimy sadists will seek to seduce them. Parents must be vigilant, and the news media must continue to do good by exposing the filth. What are practical suggestions and thoughts for how to safeguard our kids, especially in youth development contexts that embrace technology?


At 2/19/2006 08:46:00 AM, Blogger Rafael "Ralph" Castillo said...

1. One popular school of thought is to "ban" our children from using the internet. Unrealistic I think.

2. Young people are using technology to satisfy their longing for community and connection...we should affirm this basic inherent need.

3. Here's where I get stuck...i would like to believe that young people can use all the technological advantages at their disposal for right purposes...but I get the feeling that its like givng a kid they keys to a car when they are not quite ready to handle the responsibilty. The kids who get sucked in started out like every other kid...looking for some genuine connection with peers. Can you knock them for trying?

4. Are our children not aware of the dangers and need to be "put on" as to what to expect in cyberspace? Every kid who makes it out of some bad connection all say..I never thought it would happen to me.

5. Do we join the them where they are at (on line)...and have a presence on line (my space) etc...

We shoul make this an action point for this year's coalition group...I think we have enough in house to host a symposium...


At 2/21/2006 04:02:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy Del Rio said...

1. I agree - definitely unrealistic.

2. Preach!

3. We adults can be knocked for not trying - not trying to understand the inherent longing for connection or why the internet responds to that longing; and mostly for not teaching responsibility.

Little kids learn how to drive motorized vehicles in the country all the time. The missing ingredient is when we give them keys without training or oversight.

4. Most of them aren't. We need to educate them, lovingly

5. Yes. I think we need a both-and approach.

6. Great idea for the Coalition.

At 2/23/2006 12:13:00 PM, Blogger Rafael "Ralph" Castillo said...

Just wanted you to know I checked back for response...



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