Societal Shift Trends:
The Evolution of Teen Technology and Exploitation
This week we are going to look at how communication, relationships, and sexual exhibition has changed based on new technologies. For one-to-one conversations, it started with email then moved to texting. Facebook followed and we began to choose who would be our “friends” and “unfriended” the undesirables. Today, most teens would die of embarrassment using either email or Facebook. In fact, less than 5% of Facebook users are teenagers.
Soon technology evolved into instant messaging apps such as Kik, WeChat, and WhatsApp. As these became the norm, apps like Line, Viber, and Skype offered free calling with video and group chat. Immediate interactions were accelerated on a global scale with Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, all of which became enormously successful and popular with teens.
All of these technologies changed how teens communicate. They formed online local communities with group chats. Even today many teens are using Tango, which has a four-mile geo-based function to talk with strangers near their home. It is a favorite of gangs in some communities. Whisper was an app that kids used to tell their secrets believing it is safer to tell strangers than to tell their own friends (go figure).
Chat Roulette and Omegle, where kids can meet total strangers while sitting in their bedrooms unsupervised, brought mass audience individual live-streaming and video chat rooms. And, mobile device face-time technology literally tore down the walls of our homes while teens conducted the most intimate of acts at any time to be shared with any one.
Finally, we encountered encrypted messaging, disappearing video, ghost apps, vaporware and the dark net. And, even more recently, we have mass-audience live-streaming apps such as Live.Me and Tik Tok where kids perform in front of potentially millions of strangers.
Each of these apps has given pedophiles and predators access to groom, recruit and exploit our kids. THE WORLD HAS DRAMATICALLY SHIFTED IN THE PAST SIX MONTHS. All a pedophile has to do is sign up for the app and wait.
Join us Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 7:00am PST on Voice America Variety Channel or access the archived show on ExploitedCrimes.com as host, Opal Singleton, explores the shifts and trends in teen technology.
RESOURCES, LINKS and CASES:
- 6 Most Dangerous Messaging Apps for Kids
- Anonymous Chat Apps Could Put Kids in Danger: Police
- What Is the Tango App and Is It Safe?
- Facebook Goes After TikTok With the Debut of Lasso
- YouTube says it bans preteens from its site. But it’s still delivering troubling content to young children.
- Ohio man arrested in sextortion case targeting UCF student via Snapchat
- Brit used online game Minecraft to groom boys for sex while on holiday in the US
- Woman was offered all-expenses paid trip to party in Orlando. She then was forced into prostitution, cops say. (Instagram)
9000 Kids A Day Are Being Sextorted in the U.S.
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