“A Pedophile’s Dream”

By Deane Barker on January 29, 2005

Kids’ blogs a ‘paedophile’s dream’: I don’t think I’d ever let my kid have a blog. We’ve schooled him repeatedly on never giving anyone his real name on EverQuest. I think he calls himself Frank on that game.

A forensic psychologist has warned that children’s blogs pose new threat to children online. She said blogs are “a paedophile’s dream”, because of the insight they give into a child’s life, habits and movements.

[…] She said: “This [blogging culture] is just a paedophile’s dream because you have children uploading pictures, giving out details of their everyday life because it’s an online journal,” BBC Online reports.

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Comments

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with this – I work in a middle school and we’ve had issues with kids posting threats to other kids in their blogs. One of the students gave me her URL so I could see what was going on, and she had her full name, general area where she lives, school name, several pictures of her and her friends. etc, etc…

    Compared to other staff members in the school, I’m a lot closer age-wise to these kids, but even I was shocked at how much stuff they put out there. I had a talk with the girl the next day, but I think parents should be aware of this and they’re not, the kids deny they are doing stuff like this and the parents say “Oh, ok then.”

  2. I get it.. i just don’t like the idea of people being scared into obscurity, especially when blogs (imo) open up a connection with people that all of this virtual technology is capable of shutting out.. its an interesting point to make that if anonymity is the evildoers luxury, is it what we all have to hide behind to be safe? just tossing this out there..

  3. [Editorial Note: We had a tough time with this comment. This was the actually the second comment from this side of the debate to be posted on this entry. We deleted the first one, since it was just a rambling diatribe about how pedophilia should be legal. This one, however, actually addresses the topic — how blogging by children may expose them to people like this guy who has commented

    Again, understand that this comment was not approved on a whim. It sat for several days while we considered whether or not to approve it. If you have children, read this comment. The best way to protect them is to know what you’re protecting them from.]

    As what you would call a “pedophile” and a blogger, I am inclined to launch myself into this debate, if only for this one comment.

    I watched a few nights ago on Charlie Rose where he was interviewing bloggers whose blogs are popular at the moment and one, I think it was Andrew Sullivan, made the bold statement that blogging is a more important invention than the printing press. What makes this recent trend powerful is the agency it gives to the blogger, the flexibility of the blog, and the ability for the blogger to interact with others who support him or her, or to interact with those who oppose him or her.

    It?s hard to tell at this instant if blogging is a phenomenon perpetuated by the media or it is a real thing that is here to stay. If the trend is media driven then we can expect the story of blogs to merge into the background as just another facet of the dynamic internet. If it is a real advance in communication then what we have is something that reflects the entire demographic of the planet. From Iranian dissidents to “boylovers” like myself, from the elderly to children, the medium for the message and therefore the message itself will evade efforts by authorities, mob mentality, or over protective parents to stifle speech.

    Today, 500 years after the printing press, access to ink and paper communication is still limited to the bourgeoisie, the government, and the hyper-wealthy. Blogs, on the other hand, overturn the hierarchy of communication. Suddenly the poor, the uneducated, the fringe movements, sexual minorities, and children are projecting their message into the permanency of cyber-space, perhaps the only storage device more permanent than stone. The conflict arises when the traditional “gatekeepers” of language find that they are impotent to control the message because of the absolute freedom provided by the internet, an entity that resists tampering.

    I mean, regard this: me, a man who is sexually attracted to boys between the ages of 9 and 14 has the ability to speak with impunity on the topic of children becoming victims of cyber-predators. Not only that, but via my blog and other online ports of access, I have instant reification for my ideology. The instant I am demonized here I can make a post on my blog and have friendly affirmation by seven or so individuals who share my sexual orientation, social morals, political ideology, and socio-economic range. Beyond that there are entire dynamic, online communities of men (and some women) who are puer-oriented “puersexuals,” sometimes numbering in the thousands. A small internet search will confirm this. And to think that the mainstream media is still obsessed with NAMBLA, a somewhat defunct brick and mortar organization.

    But what is truly amazing is the utter deconstruction of grand, authoritative narratives. Children will always be on the cutting edge of the cyber culture. Young girls looking for romance and young boys who identify as gay can easily outwit their parents, even their younger and hipper parents, and contact whom they will over the connectivity of cyberspace. The old wives tales of nasty old men waiting around the corner to snag Little Red Riding Hood or the man who needs help finding his puppy are dissolved by powerful search engines such as Google or Yahoo. All a boy needs enter is a correct phrase and his sexual fantasies can be instantly gratified. The parent, clueless as parents have always been, will simply remain the useless dictators of their children’s intellects and chastity. By the time they are wise to the sexual nature of their offspring, said offspring will be the age of majority.

    Likewise the “predator” can slip into the persona of a child and enter the child’s online community for whatever are his or her objectives. I’ve heard of this happening, but I’ve never actually known another boylover who has done this. The reason is quite simple, just as children can outwit parents online, they can do the same to paedo-sexuals. This, too, is the liberating and protecting aspect of the internet. The concept that a child can be unwittingly seduced into sexual activity online has to be one of the largest paedophobic fantasies I’ve ever heard. If anything, the internet supplies the child with a tool by which they can make an educated and informed opinion about their sexuality and that of others.

    Blog-fear, then, seems to be nothing more than sensationalism propagated by a media that really is out of touch with reality. Certainly children should take precautions, and for the most part do. But that does not mean they should be denied their right to free thought and self discovery. Boylovers and girl-lovers, as well, deserve their right to free expression without the fear of an angry mob beating down their doors — or, more accurately, shutting down their servers. As a boylover who blogs about his sexuality and his humanity, I take some pride in saying that the revolution is now, and it is digital.

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