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NEWS: AOL Monitor Accused of Luring 15-Year-Old

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posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 10:01 AM
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America Online (AOL), whose recent marketing tactics have centered on the company's Internet security features, faces a lawsuit that may severely damage that reputation. A 19-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit against AOL and its parent company, Time Warner, alleging that the company failed to properly supervise a "kids only" chat room monitor. The monitor, Matthew Wright, allegedly began a relationship with the woman when she was just 15-years-old. The relationship allegedly included phone sex as well as the exchange of explicit photos and a video by Wright.
 



news.yahoo.com
An Internet chat room monitor hired to keep children safe from sexual predators seduced a California girl online and was about to meet her for sex when he was found out by a co-worker, a lawsuit charges.



According to documents filed April 1 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the online relationship began when the girl was 15. She met the AOL employee in a children's chat room and confided in him about her parents' divorce and her troubles making friends.


Their conversations online and by phone became increasingly explicit, the lawsuit says. They were preparing to meet on the girl's 17th birthday when one of the monitor's co-workers became suspicious and prevented the encounter.





Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is a damning lawsuit for America Online, which is trying to associate its name in the marketplace with Internet security. I mean, how worse can it be? Your own chat room monitor having a sexual relationship with a minor? Thank goodness they were stopped from meeting in person, but the relationship was still sexual even if it was from afar.

This story emphasizes the fact that it's important for parents to remain aware of what their kids are doing on the Internet. Relying on Web filters and chat room monitors is clearly not enough. After all, we are not talking about a small Internet service provider--this is AOL, for goodness' sake.

If AOL has any brains it will quickly settle this lawsuit. It cannot take the hit to its corporate image, especially since it has chosen to base that image on online security and safety.


Related News Links:
www.reuters.com




posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 10:20 AM
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Heh, typical AOL, IMO.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 02:55 PM
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Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Satires, VI.347-8)



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 03:11 PM
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I really have no pity for the woman...

The only one who should be supervising your children in CHAT rooms is YOU, the PARENT!!!
Kids really shouldn't even BE in such environments....

WTF are these people thinking??? There's no difference between children in chat rooms and simply telling your kid to call perfect strangers for no reason and then discuss their intimate thoughts...DUH!

STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!!!

Bad Mommy! Bad!



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 03:29 PM
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Gee.. what would the dream job of a pedophile be? Who knows...maybe playing gatekeeper in a kids chat-room... watching them have conversations entirely inappropriate for a kids chat, and then having some of his/her own?

Kids do tend to talk about inappropriate things in chat rooms and IM sessions. Worse yet... if a person is exposed to a stimulus often enough, that person will eventually come to see it as normal.

The first step to a person adopting any kind of sexual variation is coming to believe it's normal. These personnel should have been changed out regularly to prevent them from succumbing this particular psychological phenomenon.

D'err... AOL should have been keeping logs of these numbskulls 24/7/365, and moving them to different jobs eventually.

What good is a chaperone if he/she is participating in the delinquency?

This could have been prevented many times over.

What a shame.

[edit on 4/18/2005 by shots]



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 03:57 PM
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Where is parental responsibility in all of this though.

I'll be (condemned to hell) if I ever have kids. But if I ever have kids, then i'll be (condemned to hell) if I let them use the computer without monitoring software.

This monitor was given a job he simply wasn't qualified for and he allowed himself to become a real pervert- he needs to hang higher than heaven for this as far as I'm concerned. That being said, you'd have to be out of your mind to trust a nameless, faceless, corporate-selected stranger to be your child's only line of defense against sexual predators.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 04:10 PM
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Why would she wait til she was over 18 years old to file suit against this guy?

If she was seventeen, would she have been able to file suit against this guy, or would her parents have to do it? And if her parents had sued him while she was still under eighteen, would she have seen a dime of the rewards (assuming they won)?



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 04:24 PM
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Why did it take her 4 years to report it to anyone? sounds a bit odd really.. I mean, If someone tried to pull this sort of stuff on me when I was 15years old.. I'd have told 'em to get stuffed and told my parents about who would have informed the authorites. Very strange...



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 04:40 PM
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I agree that there needs to be some kind of parental responsibility taken here on this, but there is a couple of problems in a way of taking this approach.
1) In many cases today, kids do not have an adult who is home to monitor their activities. In many cases both parents (if they are still together) are working full time jobs.
2) Many times, parents are not aware of the dangers (no matter what they tell you in the news), of what is going on the net.
3) Many parents are not tech savy as we are or their kids so they depend on things such as NetNanny (which my son went through in 10 minutes) and monitors such as AOL has to help them with their shortcommings.
4) Of the parents that are aware of the programs that are out there, many do not have the time that it takes to crawl through hours of their kids chat room discussions.
5) Remember in today's day and age, the kids do not need to use a computer from the house in order to access these chat rooms. They can use fcomputers at a freinds home, the library, even the malls have laptops that can be used to access the web for free. You also need to include their cell phones that are web enabled that also allow them to access the chat rooms anywhere and at anytime.

Unfortunately, one of AOL's sales points is that they make these underage chat rooms safe for kids. Parents read, and hear this sales pitch and mistakenly think that it is safe for their kids. Obviously, not!



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 04:57 PM
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like everyone else i would have to hold the parrent at least partialy responsible. but in recent times how many parrents actualy do any real parrenting? the modern way is to drop a baby off at day care before work, pick them up, feed them supper and then put them to bed. once school starts there are before and after school programs that acomplish the same thing. then once a child is old enough tv, videio games, and computers baby sit them. there is very little actual "parrenting" going on other then to set rules, and sometimes very poor rules at that. mostley it is daycare, school and entertainment that raise our children.

it is partialy our societies fault for the need for two parrents to work to try to bring in enough cash to live off of. even those who can live without both parrents working, both parrents selfishly want to have their careers. the children SHOULD come first.

then we have the high divorce rate on top of everything else. now i would not want someone to stay in an abusive situation for the sake of the kids, but most divorces are due to one or both parties not even trying to work things out. children in a divorce tend to be little more than pawns in the game of hurting the other party. it is always best in my opinion to show children a loveing careing household. this will in it's self teach children how to behave. it also alows for both parrents to have a break from the constant attention that children need. remember no one FORCED you to get married, or even to have children. both take two people to create. would it not follow that it would be better to have both parrents raise the children as well, it is not an easy job at the best of times. you need to know what a child is up to at any time. how many gangs for instace would cease to exist because a parrent will not allow a child to run arround without parrental controll? same for internet acess, now mabe yopu don't need to sit and watch every litte key stroke they make but you should know what and where they are surfing. read a childs e-mails and messages, it will seem unfair to a child but could save them from serious harm.

finaly there is some blaim on the service provider. which looking at this case did their job. aparently a co-worker was the one to get suspicious and stopped a possible problem. good job on that. i would recomend no less then three people have acess to eveything within the chat room. and moveing people around at times will also help stop problems from occuring.

reading the artical there are two parties that should be held responsible for a possible lawsuit. the person commiting the act and the parrents of the child for lack of care, and protection. the service provider did their job within reasonable expectation. aol may look bad in this but the fact is they were the ones to find and deal with the problem. i certaily hope that the employee "snitch" was amptly rewarded for their efforts to stop the problem. sure they could have possibly done better but the fact is they DID put a stop to it. now if they had turned a blind eye to it THEN they should be held liable.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 11:43 PM
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my question is this: why did it take all this time for the woman to report it? what was the guy suing her or something and she wanted to get back at him and confessed to her love for him



posted on Apr, 20 2005 @ 07:00 PM
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Originally posted by pornanist
my question is this: why did it take all this time for the woman to report it?


Perhaps she never gave it any thought until all the recent lawsuits, i.e., Jackson, the basketball player (sorry forgot his name) in Denver. You get my drift there are tons of them.



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