Is the Internet Safe for Children?

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Melinda VanPelt
Ms. Jan Rozich
English 111 1BA
16 November, 2008
Is the Internet Safe for Children?
A lot of parents think that their children are safe surfing the internet. When in reality children can be exposed to all kinds of different types of things that are not safe for them on the internet. From pornography, child pornography, child abduction, child abuse, video games, videos, cyber-bullying, online chat rooms and social sites such as; MySpace, tagged, hi5, facebook and many other social sites. Parents ask is it really possible for my child to get hurt from surfing the internet? In actual reality it is possible if the children aren’t educated about all the dangers of being on the internet.

The chat rooms are full of kids and adults of all ages that can be downright mean and cruel. Children tend to be easier to get them to trust a person, than an adult. Any sick pervert or internet predator can get online and talk to a child for awhile and be very nice to them, get the child to trust them. Then they could talk the child into either giving them their real name, address or what town they live in, or even their telephone number so that the internet predator can find the child and possibly hurt, kill or abduct the child from their own home or anywhere the child might go to alone. On tagged.com there was a sixteen year old girl that became missing. Her family posted that she was missing on her tagged site. They said that she had been talking to this older guy on there. They found out that she was supposed to go meet him on the day she became missing. Of course he denies ever meeting with her. But her family believes that this man had something to do with her being missing. The family still doesn’t have a clue as to where she is or what even happened to this beautiful young lady. Another example is two teenage boys were arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting two teenage girls they met on the social networking web site MySpace in East Haven. The sixteen and seventeen year old girls meet with the eighteen and nineteen year old boys in a pre arranged location. The boys took the girls to a friend of theirs house, where they were both allegedly sexually assaulted, one at knifepoint. Afterword’s the two boys left the house and the two girls called their friends. The girl’s friends called the police. The officers picked up the girls and the girls showed the police where the house was at. During the investigation the two boys showed back up at the house and were arrested. The girls had only been talking to the two boys for about two weeks before this happened (Powers). These are just s few incidents’ that has happened from the social networking sites. These sites try to make it a safe place for everyone but if these children choose to meet outside of the social networking there is nothing that they can do about it. It’s not always like this, some people won’t hurt your children but a person never knows. A research conducted in Great Britain in two thousand five: Charted the surfing habits of children and teenagers ranging in age from nine to nineteen years of age. Approximately thirty two percent of the boys and twenty eight percent of the girls have met in person with someone they had contact with on the internet, at least once. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing if an internet friend is actually the person that they seem to be online (Israel Government Portal Relationships with Strangers). Many relationships go from virtual space to the real world. Instruct the child that when meeting online friends in person should only take place in public places, in the parent’s presence or in the presence of another adult they should never be alone (Israel Government Portal Relationships with Strangers). While surfing the internet, children make new friends. Sometimes they are tempted to meet them in person outside of the virtual space. This could endanger a child’s safety. Sexual offenders are liable to use chat rooms,...
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