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Diana Alli
English 114B
Professor J. Rodrick
11 May 2016
Cyber Lurking
When thinking of technology usually what comes to mind is the internet. The
advances technology has made with the internet alone has been ridiculous. It really is
another realm where there are no borders and everyone from all around the world can
connect. At first one would think, Wow, this is amazing! which it is, but it is also a very
dangerous world; that is one thing that people fail to realize. Because of the anonymity
that comes along with the online world, it is like a hunting ground for predators; people,
more specifically children, become more easily susceptible to become victims of
cyberbullying, catfishing and human trafficking, making it an extremely dangerous world
where nobody is safe from the unknown contained within cyberspace.
The online world allows you to connect with people from anywhere and
everywhere, something at one-point people might have thought was Im possible. It is
truly an amazing tool to help stay connected with family and friends around the world,
sometimes even with meeting new people, but that is where it gets tricky. Due to the
anonymity, the online world one truly never knows just what kind of danger lurks behind
the cyber shadows, so it is like you are entering a room with a blind fold on. Sexual
predators are constantly lurking online making things such as human trafficking so
common. Predators will post ads that young online users will click on, and be tricked into
something that they think is very normal and exciting, such as a modeling opportunity,
but come to find out it is nothing like they thought. In the article 70 Percent of Child Sex
Trafficking Victims are Sold Online: Study written by Robbie Couch in the Huffington

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Post, it reads that "people are posted and sold online multiple times a day, Asia, a
survivor of sex trafficking, told Thorn. just [like] you can go find a car, there was a
picture, and a description, and a price. (Couch). There are stories like with Human
Trafficking and the Internet,
by Judge Dixon, it states
that, In Illinois, a 19-yearold female responded to an
Internet ad promoting
modeling opportunities.
Instead of offering her a
modeling job, the offender
enticed the girl to wait in a hotel room where she was expected to have sex with an
unknown person. The offender, who would become her pimp, intended to sell the young
woman for sex at an hourly rate. In this case, the pimps would-be client was an
undercover police officer who brought the young woman to safety (Human Trafficking
and the Internet, Judge Dixon). The sad truth is that not all stories end like hers; some
victims are never saved, most end up being lost forever.
Sexual predators lurk in every corner on the online world and prey on nave
children that have access to social media and the internet where they are able to meet up
with strangers and become victims to their sick and twisted ways. In the link below is the
story of a 13-year-old girl that was tortured, raped and brutally beaten by an online
predator. In the online world people are able to pose as someone that internet using kids
think that they can trust due to the anonymity that is freely given over the internet, and

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usually can convince them to meet
up, typically ending up with
horrible and unimaginable things
occurring. Of course this does not
happen all the time, but it does
occur more than it should.
In an article Family Safe Computer it gives parents tips and facts about the
online world so that they maybe more aware and better prepared when allowing their
children to use the internet and says, Once a predator Instant Messages or Chats with a
victim and gains their trust they often send pornographic pictures via the IM session or email and sometimes gifts through the mail. (Family Safe Computers). The numbers have
been growing, according to The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, in
2004 the number of child pornography files (online) stood at 450,000. By 2011 the
number had increased to 17 million. I'm no mathematician, but I'm pretty sure that's
roughly a 40x increase (Couch). The numbers are ridiculously high and are growing
continuously with every day that passes unfortunately.
Sexual predators are not the only predators online though, some could (even) be
your own classmates. When social media and networking sites started to emerge, so did
cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is, according to dictionary.com, the use of electronic
communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or
threatening nature. Again, the anonymity comes into play in this situation as well by
giving the bully more courage to terrorize the victim but from behind an invisible wall

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online this time. With todays generation of children, everything is starting to revolve
around technology and these social media outlets and this emerges out of that.
There have been many stories of
young teens experiences shared online, on
media platforms, even on television and on
the news of teens going through this form of
bullying. Even through movies that have been
trying to bring awareness to on the cruelty online known as cyberbullying. For a long
time, people did not acknowledge its severity, but when teenagers started to show
extreme reaction to it such as depression, anxiety and even suicide, is when something
had to be done, someone had to take a stand to fight against it. When the problem was
being recognized and there was a clear sign of teens becoming depressed and (even)
committing suicide over stuff like this, certain laws were formed in attempt to prevent
this.
Within this new generation of tech-savvy teenagers, abuse of the internet has
become an issue that was far beyond any humans imagination when it was first
invented). The effects that this abuse has on teenagers is quite astounding, and the
amount of people that are unware of it is even more astonishing. Cyberbullying is not an
issue to be taken lightly under any circumstances. There are some astounding facts about
cyberbullying that some may have never known like within the article "Cyber Bullying
Statistics - Bullying Statistics.", the I-safe foundation and Harford County Examiner
pointed out that over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about

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the same number have engaged in cyber bullying. Well over half of young people do not
tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs. (i-Safe foundation and Harford County
Examiner).
The amount of young teens that have taken their own lives due to this form of
bullying has grown, alongside awareness that is being brought to this issue, as it
rightfully should be getting. Unfortunately, because of technology, things like cyberbully
can never be a problem that is fully eliminated, though we can try and lessen the
occurrence of it, it can never fully cease to exist entirely and this sad thing is this is just
one of the many problems we face on the web.
A new form of danger has also emerged once the internet and social media
platforms were invented, when when internet dating was introduced into the already
chaotic world, something called catfishing sprung about. Catfishing is when a person
poses as someone else online, it could, for example, be a woman that is really a man or
someone that posts a pictures of a very attractive person, male or female, claiming it is
who [s]he is, but in reality it really is not. Doing this has become so easy to do because of
the secrecy that comes with being online. It has become an epidemic within the online
world so much that there is even a show about catfishing on MTV where people being
caught in the act. The show, being original, is called Catfished. Thousands of people have
their own story, whether it be a little one or a huge one such as falling in love with the
person that has falsified his/her identity. Something that the world never really had to
worry about is now happening to 42% of all Americans that meet someone online; that is
almost half of the population in the United States! Catfishing is a serious problem that

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has yet to be fully addressed in the online world, and it was merely brought up due to the
idea of gaining a date through the World Wide Web
an unsafe, unguarded zone where hunters seek out their
new prey.
Technology has made a large hunting ground for so
many predators today, and so many are falling victim to them each and every day. Since it
is such a big platform, one can only try to lessen the problem, and hopefully achieve the
dream of fully ending it for good. Technology, like a lot of things in life, has its good
sides, but it also has its many down sides in the way people are able to alter their identity
and take advantage of those all over the world with just a click of a mouse.

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Works Cited
"Advertisement." Human Trafficking and the Internet and Other Technologies, Too).
N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
Couch, Robbie. "70 Percent Of Child Sex Trafficking Victims Are Sold Online:
Study." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
"Cyber Bullying Statistics - Bullying Statistics." Bullying Statistics. N.p., 07 July 2015.
Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
Feature, Katherine KamWebMD. "4 Dangers of the Internet." WebMD. WebMD, n.d.
Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
Iliff, Rebekah. "Sex Trafficking: High Tech's Humanitarian Revolt Against the
Johns." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
MTV. Catfished. Jan 21st. Google Images. Feb 28 2016
(photo)
"The Facts About Online Predators." The Facts About Online Predators. N.p., n.d. Web.
24 Feb. 2016.
"Victim of Online Child Predator: 'I Was Tortured, Raped & Brutally Beaten'"Victim of
Online Child Predator: 'I Was Tortured, Raped & Brutally Beaten' N.p., n.d. Web.
24 Feb. 2016.