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Social Networking Essay

1360 words - 6 pages

READING

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NOTE: The reading on the following pages is an example of a source of information. It is not given as an example of how to write an essay.
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Social Networking Abuse on the Internet

How many of these questions can you answer before you read the text?


1) Approximately how many people use social networking sites?



2) When did online social networking begin?



3) What are some of the dangers of using social networking websites? (Try to think of as many as possible!)


...view middle of the document...

Regardless, abuse happens when people lie, and unfortunately it is becoming more common as social networking sites begin to grow.

An Open Door for Predators
Here is the most common scenario for social network predators:
* The predator opens an account using a fake name and birth date.
* The predator will post a picture of someone else, usually a picture of someone around the same age of the predators "target group."
* The predator then is open to troll around the social networking websites as, for example, a 16-year-old girl when really the predator is a 42-year-old pedophile.

The Statistics
* A study conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center, one in seven children aged 10 to 17 were victims of an online sexual solicitation.
* In that same study, one-third of the children in this age group received what is called "aggressive sexual solicitation". This means the predator asked to physically meet them, corresponded with them through regular mail (meaning the child gave the predator his or her home address) and/or received gifts.
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Other Abusers
Unfortunately, sexual predators are not the only social network abusers; there are also cyber bullies.
About Cyber Bullying
Cyber bullying is a lot like real-life bullying and incidences are on the rise. Bullies often add users to their online network of friends, with the intention of being anything but. The bully then begins to harass the user in much the same way he or she would harass a victim in person through the use of teasing, derogatory remarks and put-downs (often referred to as "flaming"). Other ways cyber bullies harass their victims is by listing the people they do not like and writing derogatory remarks about them on their MySpace, Facebook or Xanga pages. A final thought about cyber bullying is that one of the most common reasons reported as to why it is on the rise is due to the anonymity offered by the Internet. Bullies on the Internet are less likely to get in trouble than a bully on the playground because they do not have to use their real names or pictures online. Instead, they use screen names and avatars.

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How to Help Prevent Abuse
The only way to completely protect young people from abuse on social networks is to banish Internet use all together. Since that is never going to happen, here are a few steps young adults, children and parents can take in order to help prevent abuse on social networks.
Children and Young Adults
* Never engage - Don't respond to unsolicited e-mail or friend requests. There is no way of knowing who is asking to be your friend. Yes, it could be someone you know, but it also could be a predator. Don't take the risk, simply do not engage.
* Make your account private - Only the people you choose will be on your friends list.
* Block users - If cyber bullying is occurring through e-mail,...

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