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Fear and Loathing on MySpace - Coursework Example

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The paper "Fear and Loathing on MySpace" highlights that MySpace is a dangerous place for children ages 8-13. There are no reasonable prospects of it ever becoming any safer than it has been in the past. Young children will pretend to be older to get in with the older crowd…
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Fear and Loathing on MySpace
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Download file to see previous pages Who is she hanging out with? And who is lurking online in the shadows of MySpace leering at the profiles of these vulnerable tweens? While some have hailed MySpace as the greatest social experiment of the century, others have called it a Sears and Roebuck catalogue for paedophiles. Social networking has forever altered the modern childhood relationship. This revolution has left our youngest children, ages 8-13, open to the threat of exploitation and for these kids MySpace is a dangerous space to be in.
The greatest threat to these children who visit MySpace is the potential to be sexually solicited. A study conducted at the University of New Hampshire found that 1 in 5 children who have been online on a social network have experienced sexual solicitation (Mitchell, Finkelhor, and Wolak 3012). With the number of younger children creating a profile on MySpace skyrocketing1, this means millions of children are being exposed to this danger. As younger and younger children begin to logon and socialize, we put an age group at risk that is the least able to handle these abusive situations.
Though MySpace requests that all users must be age 14 or older, younger and younger children are going online. Education Digest recently reported that "Agreement terms to enrol say users must be 14 or older, but nothing keeps younger ones from lying about their age" ("MySpace Cadets"). Several teenage girls were recently sexually assaulted in Middletown Connecticut by a man who claimed to be younger than he actually was. One of the girls was 12 years old and had met the man on MySpace (Giordano and Lytwyn). Still, the children at risk get younger. A New Jersey Principal became concerned when "one of her 10-year-old students got an inappropriate message from "someone clearly an adult" ("MySpace Cadets"). This was on a school computer with close supervision. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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