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Internet Predators Essay

Internet predators and pedophiles are a major concern of our country today. The danger and potential risks that these men are committing on children has to be stopped right from the start Law enforcement and local police have set up predator crack down teams to lure and catch these sexual deviants and get them out of the suburbs and towns before they can cause any harm. The police use entrapment in certain cases to convict and put away these men which some say is unethical and a violation of these men’s rights.

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Defense attorneys are arguing that police unrightfully cause these men to commit crimes and that these men would have never tried to solicit these girls if it weren’t for the police starting the conversations. The only productive method of catching these men is by causing them to act upon their feelings and lure them to get with these girls. Though unethical, I believe that the methods these police use are the only ways to stop them from committing these crimes and endangering society’s children. Child molestation cases are hidden from the public in order to preserve the privacy of the victim.

The downside to this is that this also protects the criminals. Studies revealed that only a small percentage of people accused of child molestation have their names published. A smaller number of cases are even printed in articles. What we mostly see in the papers are the arrests and the arraignment. The outcomes of the cases are rarely heard. (Copp, 42) As much as the internet has become quite helpful in technology and interconnectedness, it has also placed the lives of our children at risk. Sexual predators lurk the worldwide web because they can be anonymous when they are on the internet.

A child has no idea who he or she is actually talking to. The sexual predator can present himself as a relative or a school friend. It is hard to tell who the actual person is on the other end. Before, sexual predators interact with the children on the playground. Today, they can do the exact same thing while the children are in the comfort of their own homes. (Philaretou, 2) Child sexual exploitation can happen to anyone – regardless of their ethnic, social, economic and religious background. The internet increases the chances of this occurring because it is a worldwide and powerful medium.

Pedophiles and sexual predators can easily turn their computer on and log on to the web and easily get the names and addresses of their victims. As sick as this may sound, the reality of it is that there are a number of child predators who get together and swap child pornography through their internet connection. They share their conquests and discuss ways on how they can lure more children online. They also exchange seduction techniques. These excite their addiction so they go for the hunt even more. (Philaretou, 3)

Through these group conversations on the internet, the sexual predators exchange techniques on how they can avoid being detected by the police. When they are not on the internet, pedophiles and sexual predators are loners. They do not commune as much with other people as they do so when they are online. (Philaretou, 4) The most common way for sexual predators to interact with children through the internet is by visiting chat rooms and exchanging instant messages and email. Sexual solicitations are made even as you read this very statement.

25% of kids participate in real time chat and a number of them are already interacting with a predator – whether they be aware of this or not. (Philaretou, 5) This becomes a problem because predators establish an intimate relationship with their potential victims through their online interaction. Teenagers use online forums in order to deal with their problems. This is the very first place predators go to in order to look for their victims. They seduce their targets through affection, kindness and time. They exert so much effort to establish a trust with them through the internet.

They know the interests of their victims, such as the latest movies, TV shows, music, books and sports, in order to converse with them more. (Kincaid, 65) They sympathize with their targets by listening to their problems. As soon as the trust has been formed, that is when the sexual predator slowly introduces sexual content to their conversations. Some even shows the child sexually explicit photographs or videos. Worse, these sexual predators may even schedule a victim with their targets so they can meet and personally interact with one another – which often leads to rape, sexual exploitation, kidnapping and worse, murder.

(Kincaid, 66) Because of this problem, television and media do what they can in order to alleviate the problem. Dateline NBC created a series titled “To Catch a Predator” intended to catch child sexual abusers before they actually do the deed. By using hidden cameras, these investigations have an undercover sting operation assisted by an online watchdog group called Perverted-Justice. The police are active participants in the procedure. These lead to the arrests of sexual predators. (Drake, 34) To elaborate it further, this is how “To Catch a Predator” does it.

They build the profiles of minor children on networking websites. They also enter the chat rooms disguised as children and teenagers. They wait for an adult to be the first to message them. The dialogue begins. Once the conversation becomes sexual, the police encourage them even more by making it appear that minors want to know more. Through this interaction, the legal officers are already gathering evidence from the alleged sexual predator. These come in the form of conversations of sexual content via chat or email, pornography and pictures.

(Burgess, 122) This brings us to the argument presented in the introductory paragraph of this paper. The sexual predators claim that it is the police who start asking them about solicitation. This is the policemen’s method of entrapment. Sexual predators believe that through the conversations triggered by the police, they wouldn’t be soliciting girls in the first place. This is the case of extreme measures. The police must do something ‘unethical’ in order to prevent an act that is more ‘unethical’ (raping a minor) to happen in the first place.

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