When the Disease Is Also the Cure

A lot of people have been worried lately that MySpace has become a playground for sexual predators. And a lot of these worried people blame the technology itself for affording sexual predators an opportunity they might not otherwise have. As is often the case with a new, scary technology, an even newer version of that technology turns out to be an antidote. That, at least, is the idea behind the MySpace Guardian toolbar: “Users can search a database of registered sex offenders in a selected radius around their location or by name, alias, height, age and any combination thereof. The result is a display of photos of the registered sex offenders and other pertinent information. Users can also notify authorities directly form the toolbar if they suspect that they have been contacted by a sexual predator.” (Hat tip: Mary Johnson)


kkwan

The Guardian tool, while a good idea, I believe will be ineffectual because sexual predators are rarely correctly located. There have been reports of dozens of sexual offenders registered in one location. And reporting of new contacts will lead overburden and desensitize the system (think false reporting). It's better than nothing but it won't put much of a dent in the abuses. In a way I'm more worried about the new sexual predators that will arise in the MySpace playground that are undetectable by any tracking methods.

The whole MySpace debacle is just the next generation of chatroom predation. You'd think we'd have learned and taught others by now but for some reason the desire to be 'known' outweighs any sort of common sense.

The best prevention is abstinence. Do not physically meet online acquaintances under any circumstances. If your curiousity still gets the better of you it's your fault. At least do yourself the favor of telling everyone you know where you'll be, who you are meeting, and take some people with you. If you are doing it in secrecy then a fool's reward you'll surely gain.

I hate how society has to constantly create solutions for our iniquities. More effort should be spent developing the wisdom to prevent these problems in the first place.

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dvrravi

well , the fact that myspace guardian toolbar does have good intentions , it's more or less ineffective.for basically , anybody can lie about their height , age etc just to gain physical contact.
no java-programmed tool can ever be a foolprof shield - artificial intelligence is void against genuine stupidity

Chris Mealy

And the most obvious point: not all sex offenders have been caught and registered, etc.

Mango

What a great idea! As soon as a registered sex offender signs up to MySpace with his real name, age, commonly used alias, and an actual photo of himself, the toolbar will have him nailed!

At last, I can finally stop teaching my kids about Internet safety.

Bryan McKay

The disease isn't the cure; as far as I know, MySpace isn't creating/distributing the toolbar. This is more like an antibiotic treatment.

Kyle Gilman

I'd say it's more like a placebo for a hypochondriac.

Jane Shevtsov

Hypochondriac indeed. A "sexual predator" can't hurt you in cyberspace and if you decide to meet in person, use common sense. Also, IMHO, the registration, tracking and restrictions that we impose on sex offenders will go down in history as one of the shames of the age. It has already led directly to two murders. In some parts of the country, released offenders can only live in highly rural areas because the restrictions on distance to schools, etc. keep them out of more densely populated places. That doesn't sound like a recipe for public safety!

rwilsontech

With all due respect, has anyone who posted replies and calling this toolbar "ineffective" actually used it. I've been using it for 2 months and I'll have it on my browser ad infinitum. Here's why I believe it to be very effective:

1. I can see a map of all the potential threats to my kids in my community or any address in the country. I know addresses, photos, names, tattoos, etc.

2. This program has a photo search function so I don't have to know names or addresses to discover a potential convicted sex offender - all I need is an approximate age and height and I can get a specific search in any radius.

3. I get automatic alerts when new predators move to within 1 mile of my house. I challenge any reponsible parent to say that they would not want to have that information.

I'm not out there hunting down predators as the last poster might suggest, I'm just being aware of where the threats are.

Well, those are 2 cents from an actual user.

Peace.

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iluvmark

IF you have responsible children and you yourself check if you know who your childrens friends are then you can trust your child.... i mean still be worried but come on know if your smart you dont need anything like that to protect your child you can do it yourself!!

kkwan

The Guardian tool, while a good idea, I believe will be ineffectual because sexual predators are rarely correctly located. There have been reports of dozens of sexual offenders registered in one location. And reporting of new contacts will lead overburden and desensitize the system (think false reporting). It's better than nothing but it won't put much of a dent in the abuses. In a way I'm more worried about the new sexual predators that will arise in the MySpace playground that are undetectable by any tracking methods.

The whole MySpace debacle is just the next generation of chatroom predation. You'd think we'd have learned and taught others by now but for some reason the desire to be 'known' outweighs any sort of common sense.

The best prevention is abstinence. Do not physically meet online acquaintances under any circumstances. If your curiousity still gets the better of you it's your fault. At least do yourself the favor of telling everyone you know where you'll be, who you are meeting, and take some people with you. If you are doing it in secrecy then a fool's reward you'll surely gain.

I hate how society has to constantly create solutions for our iniquities. More effort should be spent developing the wisdom to prevent these problems in the first place.

Read more...

dvrravi

well , the fact that myspace guardian toolbar does have good intentions , it's more or less ineffective.for basically , anybody can lie about their height , age etc just to gain physical contact.
no java-programmed tool can ever be a foolprof shield - artificial intelligence is void against genuine stupidity

Chris Mealy

And the most obvious point: not all sex offenders have been caught and registered, etc.

Mango

What a great idea! As soon as a registered sex offender signs up to MySpace with his real name, age, commonly used alias, and an actual photo of himself, the toolbar will have him nailed!

At last, I can finally stop teaching my kids about Internet safety.

Bryan McKay

The disease isn't the cure; as far as I know, MySpace isn't creating/distributing the toolbar. This is more like an antibiotic treatment.

Kyle Gilman

I'd say it's more like a placebo for a hypochondriac.

Jane Shevtsov

Hypochondriac indeed. A "sexual predator" can't hurt you in cyberspace and if you decide to meet in person, use common sense. Also, IMHO, the registration, tracking and restrictions that we impose on sex offenders will go down in history as one of the shames of the age. It has already led directly to two murders. In some parts of the country, released offenders can only live in highly rural areas because the restrictions on distance to schools, etc. keep them out of more densely populated places. That doesn't sound like a recipe for public safety!

rwilsontech

With all due respect, has anyone who posted replies and calling this toolbar "ineffective" actually used it. I've been using it for 2 months and I'll have it on my browser ad infinitum. Here's why I believe it to be very effective:

1. I can see a map of all the potential threats to my kids in my community or any address in the country. I know addresses, photos, names, tattoos, etc.

2. This program has a photo search function so I don't have to know names or addresses to discover a potential convicted sex offender - all I need is an approximate age and height and I can get a specific search in any radius.

3. I get automatic alerts when new predators move to within 1 mile of my house. I challenge any reponsible parent to say that they would not want to have that information.

I'm not out there hunting down predators as the last poster might suggest, I'm just being aware of where the threats are.

Well, those are 2 cents from an actual user.

Peace.

Read more...

iluvmark

IF you have responsible children and you yourself check if you know who your childrens friends are then you can trust your child.... i mean still be worried but come on know if your smart you dont need anything like that to protect your child you can do it yourself!!