In the last couple of years there’s been a LOT of hype about how dangerous it is to let your kids on the Internet.  Now while I DO agree that children need to have their internet activity monitored by their parents, I’ve never believed that there’s a predator behind every chat message, MySpace page or Facebook profile the way the mainstream media and a lot of government types have tried their best to portray it.

Frankly, they face more risk from spam emails pushing diet pills, viagra and other pharmaceutical “solutions” that kids with self image problems might be tempted to try using as a way to feel better about themselves.

There’s a recent NYTimes article that looks at this issue.  One of the first things they point out is really very telling I think.

A task force created by 49 state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem.

Contrary to what you might think from watching things like “to catch a predator”, I’m quite sure that while there are a lot of predators out there, there isn’t nearly as many as programs like that can lead you to believe.

The big problem with the whole thing is that it’s an emotionally charged issue.  Politicians and others can and have managed to foist a lot of crap on us in the name of “protecting the children”.  Most of which has less to do with protecting children than it does with giving the government more ability to monitor more individual citizens more closely and all the time.

Technorati Tags: sexual solicitation, exaggerated danger, pharmaceutical solutions, task Force, state attorneys, crap, out of portion, predator, self image, monitor internet activity, protecting children, predators, internet danger, government, politicians, hype, mainstream media

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