Parents, Sex Predators and Children on Facebook

Hurrah for the parents trying to protect their children from sex offenders on the Net. But the question that needs to be asked is: were the parents negligent in the first place in allowing their children to open Facebook accounts in the first place?

Unspun‘s met many parents who speak with great pride of the ability of the apple of their eyes’ great ability to log in and play around the Net. They huff and they puff about how tech savvy their children are.

Unspun and the missues usually listen in dismay as we hold the view that children are best kept out of the Net until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

This does not mean that we make the Unspunlet a Luddite. On the contrary we encourage him, all eight years, to know his way around the computer and some selected sites. But we try our best to keep Unspunlet’s photo and name out of the public domain as much as possible. The Net can be a really dangerous place as very, very smart and crafty paedophiles and criminals can lurk around, comfortable in the anonymity that the Net provides.

We think that perhaps 13 or 14 may be an appropriate age to start allowing him some supervised web presence but then again we are not very sure. What we are sure is that 8 is still too young for him to fly solo into the Internet wilderness.

So far Unspunlet does not show any signs of deprivation. He’s happy and as normal a boy can be at his age with an Unspun as his father. Kids do not really need to go social networking tht early in life and parents who encourage their children to do so are beling irresposible.

This extract from The Jakarta Globe today:

Parents Log On to Facebook to Protect Their Children From Sexual Predators

As police investigate several recent cases involving sexual predators on Facebook, concerned parents across Jakarta are taking matters into their own hands to protect their children — even if it means violating their privacy.

Nanni Purnama, an East Jakarta mother of three, including two teenage girls, told the Jakarta Globe that she already had access to her children’s accounts on the popular social networking site.

“I know their passwords,” she said. “They also have access to each other’s Facebook accounts.”

“I want all three of them to be open to their parents, as well as to their siblings. I have to know who their friends are and what they put up on Facebook,” she added.

Nanni said she also conducted periodical “surprise inspections” of her children’s cellphones, reading through their text messages and going over their incoming and outgoing calls.

“I am doing this to protect my children from those who have the power to harm them,” she said. “They should have nothing to hide from me.”

Nanni’s youngest child, Fathur, 12, said that unlike his sisters, Irin, 17, and Bella, 15, the only reason he had a Facebook account was because he was asked to open one as part of his computer class at school.

“My mother does not allow me to confirm friend requests on Facebook from people I don’t know,” he said. “All my Facebook friends are just friends from school or from extracurricular activities, such as futsal.”

Evie Komarwati, a mother of four, including a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl, said she had taught all of her children to have zero tolerance for strangers on Facebook.

“I recently opened a Facebook account myself — I needed to know how it works,” she said.

via Parents Log On to Facebook to Protect Their Children From Sexual Predators – The Jakarta Globe.

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