TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Bill to Curb Online Predators Criticized

Re: Bill to Curb Online Predators Criticized

Linc Madison (
Thu, 01 Feb 2007 16:20:44 -0800

In article <>, Joe Garofoli,
Chronicle Reporter <> wrote:

> the Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2007 ...

So, do we parse the acronym as *KID* *SPA* (as in children in a hot
tub) or as *KIDS* *PA* (as in "who's your daddy?")? Either way, it
sounds like it should've been written by Mark Foley.

Anyway, "keeping" the Internet devoid of sexual predators is rather
like "keeping" Baghdad free of car bombs: you have to *get* it free
before you can *keep* it free. That's just one reason I agree that
this bill is much more show than substance.

The other thing I'd like to see far more of is proactive effort at
teaching the kids how to spot online personas they should steer clear
of. It's all fine and good to work at taking predators off the net,
but shouldn't we teach the potential prey a thing or two about staying
out of harm's way? After all, we teach kids to look for traffic before
we teach them to drive. If they're old enough to be on the Internet,
they're old enough to be told some of the things that should set off
alarm bells:

* Any photo of you that spends a nanosecond on the Internet is out in
public forever. Therefore, never e-mail *ANYONE* a photo that you
wouldn't want your mother to post on your fridge or your worst enemy to
post on every locker in school.

* Any info you put online that identifies your name, address, or
telephone number, or even just what school you go to, is really useful
for creepy people who want to track you down and hurt you. Make sure
you only give that kind of info to people that you know *offline*.

* If you're under 18, and an adult starts talking sexy, and then wants
you to dress up or shave "down there" or otherwise do something to
make you look even younger, RUN AWAY *SCREAMING*. The "talking sexy"
part is "smoke," but the "look younger" part is a five-alarm fire.

* If anyone -- a grownup or another kid -- tries to push you into a
sexual situation, that person is not being a good friend, not even a
little bit. That includes "if you REALLY love me," and "you're not
some kind of a prude, are you?" and any other comments meant to
embarrass you or emotionally blackmail you into sex.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: What I heard is that the acronym is
simply 'KIDS' for the first part of the total expression, or 'KIDSPA'
(without the hyphen). Your rules of thumb are pretty good, but I
would make one change: In your rule "If you are under 18 and an adult"
I would drop the 'if you are under 18 part' .... and just say if that
sort of thing happens for anyone -- after all, the person you are
chatting with _is_ essentially a stranger -- my advice would be to
cut the connection then and there, unless you do things like that
for total strangers. And regards your last rule, "if you really love
me" I do not see how that could be possible (love) based on the very
limited conversation to date. And I would possibly add another rule
to those you have given: generally, stay away from Yahoo, AOL or MSN
chat. Those three, along with IRC are about the biggest wastes of
time and bandwidth on the net.

Finally, feel free to transmit
several times during an open chat session. PAT]

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