Girls at risk on social networking sites -
04-13-2008, 11:03 AM
Picture the scene. A thirteen year old girl logs into her Myspace account, using her username of SexyChick69. She has several photos showing her in a bikini, taken while on holiday up, plus a quick blurb telling people everything about her, from her real name to the name of the school she attends. She lists her favourite hangouts, citing hanging out at the local mall as what she likes to do on a Saturday afternoon, along with her favourite music groups and movies. To her, and her friends, it seems perfectly alright to do this; just part of having a Myspace profile. But to a sexual predator, it's the perfect tool to use to trace the girl and groom her for rape or even murder.
There are millions of young girls using social networking sites like Myspace, Bebo and Facebook; and trustingly making public to billions of users their personal information. There are options on Facebook to make such information private, but worryingly, these girls don't take advantage of those options. Teenagers feel invincible on the internet, and it gives them a sense of power to see the number of hits their profile gets. They try to attract more hits by putting up sexy pictures of themselves, or talking dirty. But few realise the danger this puts them in.
Parents are equally to blame by allowing their children to go online without supervision or putting controls on the computer to block certain sites. Internet watchdog Ofcom found that why parents might think they know what their children are doing online, they are in fact dangerously ignorant of the extent their kids are going to in order to collect hits or online friends. They are also unaware of their teenagers making plans to meet up with online friends, who might not be who they say they are at all. A girl thinks that her online boyf is a fellow fourteen year old MCR fan. Instead, he's 53 years old and grooming her for an eventual meet up, where he will rape and kill her.
I put this up cuz I'm worried about the number of girls on here doing exactly this in their profiles.