Parents, your kids aren't safe anywhere, at any age. Toddlers put their fingers in outlets. Teens will act on their hormones. Twentysomethings will take jobs at Gawker Media. It's your responsibility to prevent such catastrophes from happening. Politicians will not help. Take New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo, for example. Facebook today agreed to cooperate with Cuomo's office in an investigation targeting online sexual predators. This might make parents feel better about their children's safety. After the jump, why It shouldn't.
According to research, only 7 percent of arrests for statutory rape in 2000 were Internet-related. What's more, even most of those cases are what experts call "criminal seductions," which is what its called when teenagers are seduced by adults who did not try to conceal the fact that they were adults. For teenagers, going online is as dangerous as going to a party. A really boring party.
And here's the thing. Just as much as you should know which parties your teens are going to, you should know who they're communicating with online. Spy on them. It's cool. What are they going to do, sue you? You're their parents. As far as you're concerned, they have no constitutional rights, after all! Monitor them now, lest they grow up to be bloggers.