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Prostitutes, Pimps And Pedophiles: The Dark Side Of Twitter

You’ve likely seen sketchy tweets or direct messages on Twitter, but what do you think happens when you click the accompanying links? What happens when your teen does?

Pedophiles have been publicly busted on Twitter more than once now and apparently prostitutes are soliciting on Twitter and Facebook as well.

“Online” is becoming a cesspool. Can anything be done to clean it up or should social networking sites consider upping the age to 18+?

#sex on Twitter, you’re gonna find it, that’s expected. But what may not be expected, especially not by parents of young teens on Twitter, is this: Even if your teen isn’t looking for sex on Twitter, sex will find them

Direct messages are sent to kids all the time with provocative messages and links to see more. And when they click (and many do), they could be allowing someone access to their smartphone or computer – and all the info they have stored on it. What an easy target your child has now become.

Beyond DMs, there are scripts set up to ping back spammy replies based on keywords – and some target gullible parents as well. This bot sent notices out to anyone mentioning a son or daughter, for example:

The Times reports that “[p]rostitutes and escort agencies are openly using Facebook and other social networks to advertise their services and tout for new business.”

Hundreds of unrestricted pages dedicated to the sex trade have been created on social networking sites, fuelling concerns that children are being exposed to explicit content and offers of adult services.

In many cases, agencies and individuals have used Facebook and Twitter to post lurid photographs alongside detailed descriptions. These include names, phone numbers, addresses, prices and specific sex acts on offer.

And they’re also recruiting. One way they do this is by reaching out to young people and offering them modeling contracts. The scenarios that play out once the teen accepts are chilling.

What can you do?

1) When you see seriously offensive stuff, don’t ignore it – report it. Go the sleeze’s page, click the drop-down and select “report.”

2) Sit that grumpy teen down and talk to him/her about the dangers online. And don’t be afraid to be a parent – if they don’t “get it” they don’t get to BE online.

3) Tell your friends to do the same.

What would you add to this list?

(Blurred image from Shutterstock)

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