Essay on The New York Times Website

Essay on The New York Times Website

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Earlier this month, I ran across an article on the New York Times website. The article, titled, “Concerns Over Social Media Link to Virginia Girl’s Killing”, regards the abduction and murder of a young girl who regularly posted in a Facebook group chat called Teen Dating and Flirting. The girl’s communications through social media has stirred many concerns throughout the community, especially with the neighbors—who gave the law enforcement authorities information that could have possibly led to the arrests. The neighbor’s daughter claims to have seen the 13-year-old victim’s text messages to the 18-year old through another social messaging app called Kik. Even law enforcement officials have raised alarms about this app being an easy lead way for potential sexual predators. Accordingly, a former teacher from a New York high school was arrested a year ago due to child pornography through this app (Spencer, n.d.). Crimes of this nature (as well as many others) are very familiar across social media, and at a first glance, partaking in social networking seems harmless until you step back and look at the bigger picture. Hundreds of people misuse social media in many ways, such as for cyberbullying, pornography, etc. But why? What causes people to take such a good thing that is commonly used for positive things, such as networking and entrepreneurship, and use it for their own detrimental reasons? Although there are tons on answers to this question, the most obvious cause of these issues is that the suspects cannot physically see who is on the other end of the computer, making it easier for them to hide and because there are so many websites to choose from that has no privacy protection.

Bullies on the playground and bullies on the Inte...

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...ople to hide behind a computer screen and do/say whatever they please. The skyrocketing popularity of social media allows hundreds of ways for people to misuse it, and it makes us ask, “What’s next?” What should we do to prevent these things from happening? It is evident that social media clearly portrays quite a few negative effects in today’s society, but in some cases, the problems begin at home. In other words, parents and guardians should become more mindful that unsupervised and unrestricted use of social media could result in a range of consequences for their children, whether they are the victim or the suspect; however, there is not a perfect, well-made method to stay completely safe while dealing with social media. The only tangible thing a user (and a parent) can do is stay conscious of the possibilities of having an encounter with a predator or cyberbully.

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