Misuse of Chatrooms

Essay by silverfirexzJunior High, 8th grade January 2005

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In the cyber world we live in today, virtually anything can happen. There is no checking system for identities, no way to be sure that people you communicate with over the internet are really who they say they are. This makes it extremely easy for people to remain anonymous while pursuing less than honorable pastimes.

There are many ways to misuse computers, from viruses to hacking to email. The one we will be focusing on is the chat room.

Chat rooms are a wonderful tool of society, but, as with anything, it can be misused. For instance, say that a pedophile logs onto a children's chat room. They seek out children and befriend them, begin having conversations with the aforesaid child. "...Conversation serves to prime the child for the sexual suggestions...Disclosures 'the child' makes in response to such requests...serves to lure the child into an emotionally abusive arena." (Rachel O'Connell, http://www.once.uclan.ac.uk/idic.htm

) In this statement, it is made clear the dangers a chat room may pose to a child. Rachel O'Connell also says, "...[The chat room] encounters may escalate to an off-line meeting. The incidences and outcomes of these meetings have been well documented by the press over the course of the last year." Pedophilia is a great risk around the internet, and just one of the ways chat rooms may be misused.

Because of the security that anonymity gives people, someone might do things on-line that they would not normally do, such as use profane language, crude humor, or sexually harass another internet user. Not only does this make the others around them uncomfortable, but it might also affect their psyche. For instance, say that a teenage girl logs onto a chat room, and another user, whether it be a male or female, young or old, begins...