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    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,823, Reputation: 2035
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    #1

    Oct 5, 2007, 07:14 PM
    Parents in trouble
    I was just thinking today how easy it must be now for people that pretend to be a teenager on the internet so they can catch predators because they all congregate at places like myspace and you can sift through the profiles easily to find likely predators from average people displaying their hobbies and interests. Then that evening on the news they said they (the police or whatever) are now sifting through places like myspace and parents are getting in trouble (even jail time), losing their jobs or being demoted at work for the things their kids post on these type of sites. For example, 14 yr old kid brags that his parents got him a stripper and a keg for his birthday party and even some more innocent type posts. I guess it makes life easier for the 'detectives'.
    What are your thoughts on this method of 'catching the bad guy'?
    grammadidi's Avatar
    grammadidi Posts: 1,182, Reputation: 468
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    #2

    Oct 5, 2007, 07:24 PM
    I think that we need to protect our children, and whatever it takes is fair game. I have seen how predators and sexual perverts damage children for life. Hell, I have seen how adults take advantage of other adults! However, children are precious and na´ve and we need to ensure they live as safely as we are able.

    Hugs, Didi
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
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    #3

    Oct 6, 2007, 05:06 AM
    Hello NO:

    Yes, we need to protect our children. No, we don't need to go overboard, and we are. WAYYYYY overboard!!

    excon
    Chery's Avatar
    Chery Posts: 3,666, Reputation: 698
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    #4

    Oct 6, 2007, 05:24 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by N0help4u
    Then that evening on the news they said they (the police or whatever) are now sifting through places like myspace and parents are getting in trouble (even jail time), losing their jobs or being demoted at work for the things their kids post on these type of sites. For example, 14 yr old kid brags that his parents got him a stripper and a keg for his birthday party and even some more innocent type posts. I guess it makes life easier for the 'detectives'.
    What are your thoughts on this method of 'catching the bad guy'?
    I've never gone on myspace or the equivalent in Europe, but I have my doubts if all that is said on there is true. Ditto goes for the Media reports. So.. all this might be a scare or it might be crazies of other types that have a 'hero' syndrome.

    It is fact that we cannot protect our children for the rest of their lives from everything that is dangerous to them. All we can do is do our best to raise them with love and hope that we passed on some solid values to them.

    Not all parents deserve to have children (unfortunately) but I'm certain that the majority of us have done and will continue to do our very best - without the Media's help.

    I cannot help thinking that some parents might just be innocent and therefore branded forever if an unhappy child in puberty does not get the material things he/she wants. There are generally two sides of every story, but the one that gets in the news is never the best one.

    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,823, Reputation: 2035
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    #5

    Oct 6, 2007, 06:49 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Chery
    ....I have my doubts if all that is said on there is true.
    Yeah that is the part that gets me the parents are getting in trouble with the law or their boss and it might be something the kid made up or exaggerated.
    kiki_doki's Avatar
    kiki_doki Posts: 200, Reputation: 11
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    #6

    Nov 25, 2007, 02:45 PM
    I would have to say that with the growth of the internet and other new technologies it is getting even more scary as a parent, no longer do you just have to watch where your kids are but what sites they are on, who they are chatting with etc... Now if the police are targeting a certain group of people then they should limit themselves to that scope. They shoulnt then penalize parents for things that their children are bragging about to the world... They should now that children/young people often brag about things that haven't happened... I think that this is an abuse of power... BIG BROTHERS WATCHING :)
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
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    #7

    Nov 25, 2007, 02:49 PM
    EVERYTHING anyone finds on My Space, etc. should be taken with a very large grain of salt. To pursue anything should mean a disrete investigation.
    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,472, Reputation: 760
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    #8

    Nov 25, 2007, 03:45 PM
    There's two fundamental issues at hand here ; first is what "bad guys" are the 'detectives' that you speak of (the one's posing as teenagers on Myspace, etc.) looking for and, secondly, how truthful is the information that the real teenagers share with the detectives pretending to be teenagers? In other words, if the detectives are looking for sexual predators, should they be able to take action against those discovered parents who are claimed to be providing things such as strippers, kegs, etc. for birthdays, etc. even though such things are totally unrelated to the idea of sexual predation which is what the detectives were originally searching for? I would think that any defense attorney would make a very strong argument against it, especially since the evidence would have been obtained under deceit. Then there's the issue of how truthful such boasts are. We all know that such teenage boasts are not uncommon and have to be taken with a grain of salt. Would the same teenager who boasts online anonymously that his parents bought him a keg for his birthday be willing to go into a courtroom and swear to that under oath, knowing that it could mean jail time for the parents? While it may seem like a good method for catching those who commit crimes against children, the potential legal tangles are many.
    Press2Esc's Avatar
    Press2Esc Posts: 251, Reputation: 10
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    #9

    Dec 3, 2007, 08:05 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by N0help4u
    I was just thinking today how easy it must be now for people that pretend to be a teenager on the internet so they can catch predators because they all congregate at places like myspace and you can sift through the profiles easily to find likely predators from average people displaying their hobbies and interests. Then that evening on the news they said they (the police or whatever) are now sifting through places like myspace and parents are getting in trouble (even jail time), losing their jobs or being demoted at work for the things their kids post on these type of sites. For example, 14 yr old kid brags that his parents got him a stripper and a keg for his birthday party and even some more innocent type posts. I guess it makes life easier for the 'detectives'.
    What are your thoughts on this method of 'catching the bad guy'?
    Worse yet... take the case of Megan Miere. A parents worst nightmare. This 13yo girl is as much a victim of MySpace as she is a whole culture shift where are kids have ready access to a plethora of under-aged social networking sites with no age checks who unknowingy same the same virtual room as internet stalkers/pr editors...

    While the parent(s) may net not be a internet saavy as their kids, many parents need to step into the 21st century. In Megan's case, the time for her parent(s) to recognize the reality of dangers that lurk on the internet has passed.

    P2E
    grammadidi's Avatar
    grammadidi Posts: 1,182, Reputation: 468
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    #10

    Dec 3, 2007, 02:48 PM
    Well, I am going to speak from my own personal experiences here. I am extremely computer savvy. I have educated my children, grandchildren and many other children as to the dangers of the internet. I was involved for a very long time with a group that exposed internet predators. I run a secure online site for kids. However, at least here in Canada, the rest of the community does not support a parent's attempts at controlling the internet dangers.

    For instance, my youngest child is adopted. She comes from a life of abuse, so is particularly vulnerable as she is an attention seeker and has emotional issues and an attachment disorder related to her 'previous' life. The internet and all it's lures, especially with places like MySpace and tools such as the various messengers are JUST like handing a kid like that a partially loaded pistol and telling her to point it to her head and pull the trigger.

    I have done everything I can to protect her from that. I have shown her the predator's histories and how 'kind' they look. I have let her read transcripts of contact these predators had with kids and how they lured them in. ALL of her internet time is done with me at her side... only interfering when I see her doing something that could be dangerous. Then, she goes to school and is allowed internet access to do her schoolwork, free time in the library, etc. She 'meets' people who contact her via messenger, email, MySpace, etc. and falls into their traps. "No mom! He's only 15!" she cries. "I have seen him on his webcam!" Sigh... I show her that he has other profiles on the web and that, in fact, he is 38. She goes to school and has free access... she's needy (what teenaged girl isn't?)... and still somewhat na´ve due to her emotional issues. So, she asks him right out - "My mom says you are 38. Are you?" He denies it, makes up stories and she believes, because she wants to.

    I find out, because I monitor things, and I contact the school. They check her usage and see that she is going into sites that are off limits, so they suspend library/computer privileges for a time. So, on her lunch break she leaves school and goes to the public library... and the cycle continues.

    We can arm the kids with all the knowledge in the world. Does it take away their curiousity?? NO! Does it prevent them from making mistakes?? NO! The fact is, these kids are human beings... and they are KIDS! Teenagers learn to separate from their parent's by asserting their independence, bucking the rules and doing their own thing. It's human nature. We encourage independence and growth. It's a natural thing in our society.

    Gone are the days when the school and community watched out for our youth. Adults now (and yes, I am generalizing) are AFRAID to speak up to a kid. We give them all the control in the world! At 16 they can make a decision as to whether they need a therapist, whether they will or will not take meds, whether they stay in school or not, whether their parents are told if they have a medical condition or whether their parent sees their report card. They can even arrange their own absences from school! Yet, as a parent I am expected to be responsible for them until they are 18!

    This young troubled youth learned that she can make accusations about me or other 'poor me' stories to our neighbours or her teachers and counselors to get sympathy so that she didn't have to suffer the consequences of her actions and, in many cases was given special treatment and even rewards! Her stories became huge. In one of them she was one of a set of triplets - one died at birth, her and the other one were starved and beaten to death by her birth parents and she was the only one who survived. I supposedly was going to kill her too, so if she ever disappeared, her friends were to tell the police her stories. There were tales of starvation (her birth parents DID starve her) so she could hoard food (part of her disorder).

    Now, even though everyone involved with her KNEW that she was telling tales, they were legally bound to report her stories to Children's Services. Can you imagine living this way?? But... you know what?? I am GLAD!! I would much rather be accused of something I didn't do and hopefully it would work out rather than know that people are getting away with stuff they shouldn't where kids are concerned.

    I don't like being investigated for things I don't do, but I would rather be investigated every week than for my daughter to be lured and taken advantage of, or even be killed. I think it's a small price to pay and unless your child has been in danger of it, you just can't appreciate what I am saying.

    So, to summarize... I don't like to hear or read that parents fail the kids if the kids do bad things. I know many, many parents who are excellent parents. Some kids are just more curious, independent, rebellious, etc. more than others. I also figure that if people have to set kids or parents up to find the kids that are falling through the cracks and keep them safe then they should do it. As stated in my original post here - children are precious and na´ve and we need to ensure they live as safely as we are able. I believe this extends to at least age 18, and, in some cases beyond.

    Right or wrong, that's my take on things.

    Hugs, Didi
    shygrneyzs's Avatar
    shygrneyzs Posts: 5,017, Reputation: 936
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    #11

    Dec 3, 2007, 03:14 PM
    As long as there are curious teens, then will be curious adults looking for those teens. It can be any site. Didi is right when she says that the teen can access a computer elsewhere, not just at home. Our public library shut down net access after one of their employees was caught surfng myspace and posting and hooking up with a teen girl - he was 38 years old. The library reported this to the police and the investigation began - this man was a pedophile in a huge way. So now people who use the net at the library are only able to do research. No Yahoo, no msn, no myspace, no emails, no downloads, etc. There is a net guard that logs the users. Maybe that is the way it should have been from day one.

    Teens exaggerate - they will make up stories to try and impress someone. A girl will say she is 18 and she is barely 12. But then there are those who are 12 and act and talk in sexually suggestive ways. Wonder where they come up with some of things they say.

    I don't have an answer except that we do the very best we can in raising and educating our children. But I remember when my parents tried to tell me how harsh the world could be and I did not believe them, said it would be different for me, that those tough things would not happen. Like I was this invincible, know-it-all, smarty pants.

    While it is our responsibility to protect our children and I would go to any lengths to do so, sadly we cannot go with them once they go out that door. That is what is so hard. Knowing that there are people out there who would abuse their trust, dishonor them, scar them for life, and not being able to reach out and take that abuser and... well... get to him/her before he/she has a chance to hurt my child or any child.

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