Shielding our children from cyberbullying and susceptibility to sexual predators has become extremely challenging. There appears to be loads of internet safety for children and women, but never men, why is that?
Today’s kids are able to access more information than any generation before, and thanks to the Internet we all now have a wealth of knowledge that can enhance our lives in a new and fascinating way. However, the Internet also has the potential to hurt us and the people we love.
Too often we read about companies falling a victim from cyberbullying or accounts being hacked or some sexual predator, and these dangers are real.
But looking deeper, are sites like Snapchat, Spotafriend, and Tinder actually safe? Sites like these ask for details on who the person is, their date of birth and where they’re located, but in fact anyone can put any age they want, they’re not required to verify this with something like a birth certificate, driving licence or passport, that can actually confirm how old that person really is.
And because of this numerous young men are being imprisoned for thinking that they’re chatting to someone of 16 or over, when in fact that person might only be 13, purporting to be a person who is 16 or over.
Young adults can only go by what is put on the person’s profile if that person has put 16 plus and looks 16 plus then we simply believe they’re telling the truth, but what if they’re not telling the truth, and some innocent young adult comes along, especially a young male and begins rendezvousing with that person believing what they have put on their profile as true, and then months down the line gets detained and indicted for a felony they had no idea they were committing and then gets tossed into prison.
There are many young girls that go onto apps like Snapchat, Tinder and Spotafriend that start conversations with young male adults, putting on their profile that they’re older than they actually are, coercing the male subject into a relationship, whether it is intimate or not.
We’re in a day and age of technology that although it’s great and really instructive, can be extremely dangerous to adolescent people, whether they be girls or pubescent boys.
These sites are supposed to be parental controlled, but most of the time they’re not, and the corporations that own the sites don’t appear to be particularly vigilant at keeping these youngsters safe, but clearly, they’re only concerned about getting their big bucks and not about the people who use these sites. After all, it’s all about money, and if a teenager gets raped or interfered with or a young boy gets arrested for something along the way, to these companies they’re simply a statistic and nothing more.
Spotafriend is an alternative to Tinder, which is a dating site, but Spotafriend is for teens between the ages 13-19. Teenagers can swipe through to accept people that they might be interested in conversing with, but unfortunately, it’s not only being used as a chat site, it’s also being used as a pickup site for teens.
And not only is it being used as a dating site, but youngsters are not being truthful about their ages and because of this their male counterparts are getting into serious trouble, either by being detained by the police, charged or being sent to prison because they genuinely thought that this site was a safe site.
What do we have to do to keep our teenagers safe on sites like this?
Well, the easy solution is that legislation on this should be changed and that if a site is accessible to youngsters, they should have to prove how old they are before they can join, and if they can’t they should be denied access, and this should go for all sites of social networking, such as Facebook and others.
Parents can teach their children about online safety, but kids are kids and most of them don’t take much regard, it’s the Internet, and all they want to do is surf it as they please, and we seem to actually welcome danger into our homes, why don’t we just open the door and invite it in?
However, companies like Snapchat, Spotafriend, Facebook to name a few should be made responsible for their sites, and what goes on, and if a site states that it’s for 13-19-year-olds, wouldn’t that start to ring some emergency signals for a parent? That’s if the parent or parents even have time to monitor, which many don’t because of work responsibilities and so forth.
But it shouldn’t only be down to the parent or parents, it should be down to the businesses that build these websites and apps, and if a youngster goes on to their site and looks old enough and states in their profile that they’re old enough, then the young man on the other side of the PC has to assume that they are because clearly, we don’t have a crystal ball dangling out of our backside telling us, “Hey, don’t talk to her, she’s not telling you the truth about her age. She might look older, she might have put on her profile that she’s older, but do me a favour, she’s only 13.”
The young man has now been arrested, charged and sent off to prison because he was gullible enough to believe the young girl and because her profile said so. Perhaps next time he should ask for her birth certificate, drivers licence or passport, but that’s not a statute, and would that actually be legal to ask for that sort of information? Wouldn’t that be an invasion of privacy? And if that is the case, then these sites should be locked down permanently because there are no procurements to keep our children safe.