When It Comes to Dating and Hooking Up Sites, Leave the Kiddies Out of It!

By NICK CHILES

Now we get word that an online social and dating site called Skout has shut down its teen section after reports surfaced that adults were using the teen section to lure teens into encounters that resulted in at least three rapes, according to the New York Times.

Initially Skout had a separate section for adults and teens that actually allowed users to broadcast their locations, but—surprise!—apparently sexual predators with an interest in children were going into the teen section to find victims. Is it just me, or does this sound like the dumbest idea in the world, to advertise to adults the nearby existence of a place where they could find all the precious young meat they’d ever desire—all they had to do is pretend to be a teenager?

C’mon, son, let’s attempt to find some common sense here! Any website or app that allows teenagers to tell the world where they are located sounds like a very bad idea to me.

“In one case, a 15-year-old Ohio girl said she had been raped by a 37-year-old man,” says the New York Times. “In the second, a 24-year-old man has been accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in Escondido, Calif. In the third, a 21-year-old man from Waukesha, Wis., is facing charges that he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old boy.”

This news comes to us just as Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky is sitting in a Pennsylvania courtroom while the world hears all the sordid details of his liaisons with young boys. For me personally, this comes just weeks after discovering that some dude who owned a house a few doors down from my own was arrested for using Facebook to lure adolescent boys back to his house, where he tried to molest them. Yes, a few doors down. So excuse me if I’m kind of sensitive about this. But I think we ALL should be sensitive about this.

My 13-year-old daughter just got an iPhone for her birthday last week, so I’m on edge about any reports of perverts preying on young girls through social media. My daughter has been forbidden from entering these social media sites, but…well, we all know what teenagers are like. Even the good ones have at least a few brain farts a week. I just read about the Texas father who killed the man who molested his daughter. My mind goes off in a million different directions. I don’t want to go to jail, but…hey, a father does what he gotta do to protect his.

This is all to say that any entrepreneurs out there who are sitting in a room, trying to cook up the next great app or website—if your idea has anything to do with dating, flirting, hooking up, sexting, or advertising to the world that you’re available for one-night stands, please, I beg of you, leave the kiddies out of it!

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

2 Comments

  1. Beware, Nick… all phones have free dating APPs… and other free apps to talk to people in general. These are the times I wish I still did my technology workshops for parents and kids. One day soon I will pick it up again. But, there are so many things out there kids can get into. The only difference between your generation and your daughter’s is that information can get to her FASTER then when you were her age. It is really out of control. My only suggestion to this dilemma is to create a device specific for children, computers, cellphones, etc. And only have apps and software associated with the devices related to their age bracket. One day, one day!!!! WOW! I think I just started another technology industry LOL!

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