A Deep Concern 3x Greater To Our Children Than I Ever Imagined

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Istock_000002177443smallIf you’ve followed the story of Yoursphere, or are new to our community and just learning about it, you’ll know that my “inspiration” to start the site was centered around wanting to protect my 12-year-old daughter because I was concerned about her, and other children’s online safety.

In fact my exact words were to my daughter when I repeatedly said “no” to a MySpace page, “If we wouldn’t open up the door to our home to 29,000 registered sex offenders, why would we do it online?”

One commenter having read about my inspiration said, “A grand marketing campaign based on fear. I pity Mary Kay’s children.”
‘Whatever’ as the kids say….to each his own as I say.

More often than not, I was told “I highly support your idea to try to keep predators away from kids. I just think that kids need parents to help with this and set limits.” “The fact that someone decided to take on this difficult task is worthy of encouragement. I guess, it is always easier to do nothing and criticize (those) who try.”

So when it was announced by Connecticut Attorney General’s Office on February 3, 2009 that there were “Nearly 100,000 convicted sex offenders with MySpace profiles …and powerfully refutes the recent task force report…falsely downplaying the threat of predators on social networking sites,” I was admittedly proud that I founded Yoursphere.com – just for a brief moment – then
very sad that tragically the true threat to our children was three times greater than I ever could have imagined.

I applaud Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper who co-chaired the task force on social networking for pursuing revealing the truth despite what the report from the Internet Safety Task Force Revealed.

In the release Cooper said, “Technology should play a role in keeping children safe on the Internet, and social networking sites must
put better safety tools in place to keep predators away from kids.

Blumenthal added, “Almost 100,000 convicted sex offenders mixing with children on MySpace — shown by our subpoena — is
absolutely appalling and totally unacceptable.
For every one of them, there may be hundreds of others using false names and ages. These convicted registered sex offenders creating profiles under their own names unmasks MySpace’s monstrously inadequate counter-measures. MySpace must purge these dangerous offenders now — and rid them for good. Social networking sites must be barred as playgrounds for predators — a very real threat exposed by the response to our subpoena.”

“Parents remain the first line of defense against social networking abuse, and I urge the industry to adopt technology and tools that empower and enable parents to better protect their children.”

We at Yoursphere couldn’t agree more that we parents are the first line of defense. Together with the utilization of technology, tools, and consistent education, like the ones deployed at Yoursphere we can do more to protect our children online.

What do you think? Is the threat to our children still legitimately over hyped?

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