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Also: The vast majority of crimes against children are committed NOT by sneaky strangers, but by people they truly know.
Of course it makes sense to teach our kids about Internet safety. That they shouldn’t share too much information, or assume that what they post will ever disappear.
There are indeed over 750,000 registered sex offenders, but the majority of people on the registry do not pose a threat to kids. Here’s a piece in The Economist quoting a study done by the Georgia Sex Offender Registration Review Board (not a state that’s soft on crime).
The study found that of the 17,000 people on Georgia’s state registry, 5% were “clearly dangerous” and just over 100 were “predators” compelled to prey on kids.
The video shows an admitted prankster, Coby Persin, who looks to be about 30, pretending to be a teen as he chats with some girls online.They agree to meet, whereupon he films each girl’s shock and near collapse when it turns out to be him and his terrifying “safety” message.Worst of all (to me), is that the girls’ parents are alongside Coby, heaping guilt and rage upon their daughter. That’s like telling them not to trust anyone they meet in the off line world, too.But it is bizarre to act as if Facebook is teaming with stranger danger.This video most reminds me of the scary hitchhiker warnings of the deep, dark 1960s: “Never pick up a stranger.” (Which also became the slogan for an anti-freeze, but I digress.) Unfortunately, it’s kind of scary, misleading message that everyone loves to share, as if it’s a public service. On another note, the mention of “750,000 Registered Child Predators” at the end is wrong.
But, of course, most people will assume if there are 17,000 registered sex offenders in Georgia there are 17,000 “registered child predators.” Wrong.