Fear and Loathing on MySpace.com

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The world of the Internet has forever altered the social habits of our population Children no longer cruise the local drive-in or hang out in the mall. They don't go down the street to see the neighborhood kids or gather in a nearby park. Today, they create a digital profile, hook-up with a network, and just hang-out in cyberspace.


But who is she hanging out with And who is lurking online in the shadows of MySpace leering at the profiles of these vulnerable tweens While some have hailed MySpace as the greatest social experiment of the century, others have called it a Sears and Roebuck catalogue for pedophiles. Social networking has forever altered the modern childhood relationship. This revolution has left our youngest children, ages 8-13, open to the threat of exploitation and for these kids MySpace is a dangerous space to be in.
The greatest threat to these children who visit MySpace is the potential to be sexually solicited. A study conducted at the University of New Hampshire found that 1 in 5 children who have been online on a social network have experienced sexual solicitation (Mitchell, Finkelhor, and Wolak 3012). With the number of younger children creating a profile on MySpace skyrocketing1 this means millions of children are being exposed to this danger. As younger and younger children begin to logon and socialize, we put an age group at risk that are the least able to handle these abusive situations.
Though MySpace requests that all users must be age 14 or older, younger and younger children are going online. ...
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