This is how easy it is for paedophiles.
I am not easily roused to anger but one thing that can really get me going is the stupidity of some parents.
OK, we all make mistakes when bringing up children. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. Most parents are on a learning curve and doing the best they can. But please folks, are you aware that there are paedophiles out there?
What has prompted this outburst is the photo that I saw on Facebook this morning of a little boy’s 12th birthday party. So nothing wrong with that you might think, but then I noticed that the child has a Facebook account which seemed odd as I know that one has to be at least 13 to register an account. So I checked his profile and saw that his date of birth is shown as being in 1949.
Read more: New Facebook feature for your child's privacy
Right, so there is a deception being practised here and the parents obviously condone it as they had tagged him in the photo. You may not think that a very serious deception but just hang on please, what do we have here? We have a very nice-looking little boy pictured with a birthday cake stating that he is turning 12. His parents are in the photos too so I check their profiles. Their privacy settings allow me to see the town they live in. Oh, that’s interesting. Let’s check the phone book. Bonanza, now I have the street address. How easy was that?
I go to his Facebook page and although he is not a “friend” of mine I can see his photos and, yippee, I can see what on-line games he plays and, hallelujah, I can see what Sunday School he attends.
Back to his mother’s page – she is a “friend” of mine so I can read comments the 12-year old has made about his birthday photos. The first one is, “I am sexy and I know it and ain't afraid to show it “ followed by a tongue emoticon. Well, if that isn’t grist to a paedophile’s mill then I don’t know what is. His loving granny then responds with her own comment, “I know you sexy my boy........don't be afraid to show it.” What she should have said is, “You silly little boy. You don’t even know what sexy means. Rather tell me that you are achieving at school, doing well at sports and being kind to dumb animals.”
There follow a lot of other comments that might seem innocuous but to the perverted mind of a paedophile would be very significant. What I have related here is actual fact. I have not revealed the names of the parents concerned but if they should happen to read this, so much the better.
I hope that I have conveyed how easy it is for a predator to pounce on a child who may not be old enough to sense ulterior motives in the advances – a talk about a favourite game, a meeting in the park, a milkshake. Up till now I have not mentioned that the child concerned is a special needs child and for that reason he is all the more vulnerable. The fact is that every child is vulnerable when it becomes the prey of a twisted mind.
Are you guilty of allowing your child to be exposed to such dangers?