Online text chat leads to real problems
13, May, 2007 2 Comments
Last week, the Straits Times reported on a sting operation it conducted in Singapore. It had a reporter psoe as a 13 year old girl in chat rooms. Almost immediately, she was hit upon by men who invited her to meet up for sex. Such blatant requests were made even when the men knew she was underaged.
In the end, the reporter agreed to meet up with three of the men, one of whom said he was a basketball coach with a girls’ school! While the picture in the report had the face of the coach made fuzzy, the teachers in the school he coached at kind of recognised him and the principal asked if he was the one in the report. When he ‘confessed’, the school decided to terminate his contract. i thought that was a good move by the school. Imagine, this predator working so closely with young girls!
What this shows is that what happens in the online virtual world can really have true consequences and the reality would catch up easily!
What this amazes me is the sheer number of sexual predators out there who are trawling the cybergrounds for sex! While some of the girls who respond do know what they are doing, quite often, there are gullible ones out there who respond out of curiosity and who actually believe that the men are inviting them home to watch a movie and play games.
Perhaps the anonymity of the Internet has dulled some of the flight/fight instincts, so much so that many young people out there willingly share their personal contacts online for all and sundry to see, and even include very private details of themselves and their families.
While the Internet is a relatively new form of expression and communication, good old fashioned common sense should still prevail, and parents and young people need to be aware of that.