Blown To Bits

Pedophiles on the Internet

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 by Harry Lewis

Myspace is described as having purged 90,000 registered sex offenders from its site. (Apparently there are 700,000 registered sex offenders nationally.) This has stirred up the controversy surrounding the recent report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, which documented that sexual predation, while a real problem, does not generally fit the pattern of an adult stranger pedophile vs. an innocent child. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut AG, who dismissed the ISTTF report when it was issued, blasted that the MySpace purge “provides compelling proof that social networking sites remain rife with sexual predators.”

For a more nuanced and candid discussion of the ISTTF report, watch the video of the presentation at the Berkman Center yesterday by danah boyd, John Palfrey, Dean Sacco, and Laura DeBonis, who worked on the report. The Q+A with a sympathetic child safety advocate is quite interesting. For whatever reason, American society wants to identify the child safety problem with the scary stuff that is shown on Dateline; it’s actually much closer to home.

One Response to “Pedophiles on the Internet”

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