Monday, February 12, 2007

Cyber Stung

I’m a little overwhelmed with all the news programs catching online predators. The one’s that set up sting operations and trap the perverts who try to have sex with young children. It’s becoming a little much.

Let me state that I’m not against local and national police doing these sting operations. I’m Pro-Sting. I don’t want these pedophiles out there prying on the innocence and/or ignorance of young teenagers. I think that this is an okay step in policing online communication. Currently, the mode of communication is MySpace or Facebook. But it seems like this problem has been around forever. It’s just the digital medium that’s changed.

These are concerns that people had with bulletin boards, then chat rooms, then instant messaging, and now online social networks. The only worrisome thing is that each progressive step in online communication reveals a little bit more information about the user, like a MySpace page providing information like the user’s age, high school, and pictures. Before these sites, a user could hide behind an ambiguous chat name.

So there, that’s said. I’m Pro-Sting. But I’m not Pro-Media-Blitz-The-Shit- Out-Of-The-Sting.

I can’t escape hearing about Operation Cyber Sting, or whatever that particular channel is calling their story. First there were national news shows, and now there are local news shows. And then there are all the fake news shows like Hollywood Access and Outside Edition. And the satirical news shows like The Daily Show and The Soup. And then talk shows like Leno and Conan. And I haven’t checked Univision or Telemundo yet, but I’m sure they’re covering it too.

And when the straight news isn't enough, the shows twist the angle and show the silly and stupid predators. I’m hearing about the stupid guy who gets caught twice in the same week by the same sting team. I’m hearing about the guy who gets caught and wants to know when the segment will air on tv. And so on and so on. Enough.

The sad thing is that these local news channels aren’t airing these segments for social justice. They’re airing them for ratings. If they continue to run this into the ground, the online pedophiles are just going to change up their tactics. They’ll talk amongst themselves or whatever they do. I don’t know if they have meetings or host a chat room, but they will get wise if we keep showing it to them at 11 o’clock every single night.

Why can’t the local media just let these stings happen in the background so that they continue to work for a longer period of time? Wouldn’t that seem like the most logical, most effective, most socially just thing to do? Yes, but that wouldn’t get the viewers ratings in, now.


holland said...

You are correct. Money makes the world go round. Ratings=money.

Mike said...

yah after my buddy matt and i got turned down by amazing race for the tenth time, we decided getting 'stung' would be a much easier way to 15 minutes of fame. And, if you run, it's kinda like the amazing race still.