That culminated in NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” series where millions upon millions became aware of the widespread problem of adults attempting to sexually assault minors they met online
We’ve been around a very, very long time now in terms of internet years. Back when we started in 2003, there was no twitter, no facebook and google wasn’t much more than a search engine. Amazon was mostly known for selling books, even!
Without social networking, most socializing online when we started up happened in large chat rooms on the networks of the major players at the time. MSN chats, AOL chats and Yahoo chats. Thusly, we set ourselves up to put decoy profiles into those chats, mostly focusing on regional chat rooms to deal with the issue of adults preying on minors online.
When we started, there were few laws on the books across the country against trying to solicit a child online, we even wrote the majority of one law and testified in front of a few state legislatures to get them to catch up to the internet era. With our early work doing stings with local media, the issue came to national prominence. That work led to hundreds of convictions and laws across the country being enacted to deal with this issue.
Meanwhile, the element we were inspired to work, chat rooms, all died off. Some due to the fact that the attention and trouble caused by the media exposure of internet predators had made them unattractive to continue operating. Continua a leggere