Case shows Facebook can be dangerous 

TODAY’S front-page report is disturbing.

That a 42-year-old man could spend six months using Facebook to allegedly “groom” a 13-year-old boy for sex makes you sick to the stomach.

Thankfully, this story has a good result, with police raiding the man’s home yesterday.

This story is a real-life example of the dangers posed by Facebook and social media.

You’ve got 500 or more “friends” on Facebook. Who are they? Do you really know them all?

For this young teenager, this wasn’t a “friend” at all – it was a “fiend”.

This story shows that social media and Facebook can pose a danger. It’s also a reminder that Bendigo is not immune to sinister misuse of technology and trust.

It also shows young people are aware of the dangers and willing to take action... let’s hope that’s the moral of the story most people take away.

Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team Detective Marcus Uren is right in praising this young teenager for his courage in speaking out when he decided this Facebook “friend” wasn’t right.

That this young teenager realised what was happening was wrong and took the initiative of telling his parents. It is exactly the scenario authorities fighting online predatory behaviour like to see play out.

Facebook is a fantastic tool when used properly. But in the hands of those with woeful intentions, it’s so dangerous.

Much of what goes on with content sharing in Facebook is never brought to the public’s attention. It’s only in cases such as this teenager’s that we hear about these dreadful things.

Please be careful.

And well done to this young man for showing everyone the way to deal with Facebook dangers.– 

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