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So I was online hanging out in teenage chat rooms trying to hook up with some underage girls when I had this idea...

Dateline NBC looks to be running yet another sting of online child predators. Seems like every week they do this, so why not just spin off a show of its own?

It's fascinating stuff.

"...like several men in our investigation, he sent her a picture of his penis..."

Really, you know, why not? I have several in my wallet, and a framed 8 x 10 over the fireplace.

"...Just let me drive baby, I'll show you heaven..."

I gotta remember that one.

"...Hey, what size are your boobs?..."


"...A father brings his own small child on what he thinks is a date to have sex with an underage teen..."

Okay, got nothin' on that one.

And almost to a T, all of the guys lie about their age.

Dateline story, more in-depth.

I'm off to a rehearsal.


Jun. 1st, 2006 12:14 pm (UTC)
Those guys are dumb for falling into that trap.

However, I see something morally wrong about pretending to be a teenager trying to tempt someone into doing something morally wrong.

And I see something even morally worst about hiring those guys to do what they already do for a TV show.

And yet something worst about watching such show. Do people get their kicks out of seeing how perverted other people are and getting them being tricked into temptation and getting arrested?

For the show, it's about rating and popularity. For the whichever number of guys, it's about years in prision.

I wonder how much the guys had to say online before the pretended teenager started talking explicit stuff. How active were those guys in suggesting the "predator" came and predate them. They seemed to get very explicit about asking people to do some things, or if they would do some things. I guess it depends on the whole transcript, but I bet in some cases what they said could be used against their case in court. i.e., just like a cop posing to be a prostitute can't make any mention of sex and has to let the "solicitor" to incriminate himself/herself.

And were they sure to mention their age before making an invitation? What if they were adults pretending to be teenagers pretending to be adults?

And they never mention other reactions of people on those chatrooms. Were there some guys that after learning that they were talking with a "teenager" suggested that the teenager shouldn't be hanging out at an adult chat room? Or some that excused themselves from talking to a teenager and left the conversation? Or should we arrive at the conclusion that every person in an adult chatroom is a predator?

Disturbing in many different ways.
Jun. 1st, 2006 02:26 pm (UTC)
I don't get it.
Maybe it's because I'm a girl, or maybe it's because I'm a mom whose pushing 39...but everyone under the age of about 25 looks like a baby to me. I just want to offer them milk and cookies and pat them on the head and ask if they've finished their homework.

So I guess it's easy for me to say that if someone who is (or claims to be) under the age of 18 comes on to you, and you are old enough to be their parent, you should tell them "I'm too old for you. I'm leaving."

And if you are an adult at any age, and a child comes on to you, you should do the same. You're the adult. The fact that the child is mimicing some adult behaviors is no excuse to stop acting like an adult when you ARE one. Children mimic adult behavior all the time. Just because child can use an EZ-bake oven, doesn't mean she's ready to be left home alone with open flame and the recipe for cherries jubilee.

The adult ultimatly has the responsibility.

That said, I think there's something a little sick and predetory about the entrapers on the websites. They take just a little too much joy and delight in what they do. They're just a little to smug and glib and gloaty. They remind me of the cheerleader social bully, who can isolate a particluar person based on an indefensible personal quirk, and use it to gain a feeling of power and attention. "Hey! Look at Bill! Has he even showered this month?" or "Franks picking his nose! Gross! Isn't that disgusting!"

Except now they've found a population that nobody will defend and they get to be sick and warped and mean with impunity, and even look like good guys while doing it. Maybe even think of themselves as good guys.

I do think that the people who prey on our children should be found, arrested, prosecuted, and prevented from re-offending. I would just rather it be done professionally and without malice and certainly not as entertainment or as a way for someone to avoid working out their personal issues of needing to be rightous, or get attention, or be able to feel powerful at the expense of another.

Jun. 1st, 2006 03:23 pm (UTC)
Re: I don't get it.
I have to agree. The gloaty nature gets to me, as does the treating of every one of these cases the same way. There are some guys that are truly predatory, scarily so, that I think should be locked up with a sadistic guy with a funny accent who likes salt-water sponges and testicular electric current experiments. But there are others who I do think could actually benefit from psychiatric evaluations and treatment.

Some things that got to me from watching last night:

- the guy who brought his young (like six years old) son along on the "date". I just can't fathom the mindset on that one.

- the guy who said that he had met four other young girls previously for sex. That actually frightens me that there actually are 12-14 year old girls that are willing to meet older guys for sex. There is just so much wrong with that I can't begin to deal with it. Where are the parents? What are they doing? Are they so uninvolved in their children's lives that they seek attention through any means necessary? Are they victims of sexual abuse already by the time they get into the chat rooms? Do they ignore their children's sexuality and prefer not to deal with it?

I am glad that I'm not a parent. It scares the hell out of me.

Jun. 1st, 2006 03:59 pm (UTC)
Re: I don't get it.
I agree with you 100%
Jun. 1st, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
Re: I don't get it.
Sorry, that was me, no anonimity here. I agree with you 100%
Jun. 1st, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
From what I can tell, the Perverted Justice folks (who I am not a big fan of) have some pretty strict rules of contact. They aren't allowed to initiate conversations-- apparently there is no need, for as soon as they sign into a chatroom as "14/f" they get inundated with so many chat windows it sometimes crashed their computers.

I don't know. What I see on the show are guys who know that they are making explicit sexual comments to who they think are 12-14 year old girls (or boys) and arranging to meet them specifically to have sex. There's something really wrong with that, and it should be addressed; I don't think this is necessarily the best way to do it, but I don't have a better answer.

The other part that makes me wonder:

Perverted Justice has some pretty stringent guidelines about what they are allowed to do, who initiates contact and so on. They work with police to arrest these guys.

But what's to stop another more underground vigilante organization from running the same sort of stings, perhaps without such stringent rules about first contact? And instead of working with police, they decide to mete out their own form of punishment, like perhaps with hedge clippers or enhanced cattle prods?
Jun. 1st, 2006 03:57 pm (UTC)
From the article, they still seem to ask the guys to get naked, to expose themselves on camera, to insist they show up, etc... so they do push the guys buttons, even if they don't start the conversation... where an "innocent" teenager would (we hope) be dodging the conversation at some point... but teenagers also aren't as innoncent as we would like to think. They think they're being adults and they are just getting themselves in trouble.

Yes definitively this is an issue that needs to be addressed and I don't have a better suggestion either, but what they do is shady and like you said, it could lead to worst "social cleaning" organizations.

It's a terrible situation no matter how we look at it.

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