(Charlie, is this better?)
Recently someone new commented on one of my posts and as is my way I clicked on their link intending to be polite and thank them for doing so. On hitting their profile I discovered that this was a thirteen year old girl who had posted a picture of herself on her profile. Not only had she done this but she had also put her email account on her blog inviting people to email her.
Now at this stage obviously it goes without saying that 'she' could in actual fact be a hairy biker from Germany who just wants to get in touch with his feminine side, she could be a honey trap, or she could simply be a thirteen year old girl who has launched into the blogosphere.
But what if it is a thirteen year old girl? My work is all about protecting the vulnerable from those who are most at risk of harming them. I work specifically with those who pose the highest risk of harming children through their sexual preferences. I see the extent to which this kind of behaviour exists and the terrible damage it does to the victims. The internet is not a safe place for children.
I use my blog as an escape, it is my sanctuary if you like, it is the home of St Jude the person who spends her days with the extremely morally challenged, getting inside their minds, (trust me, not the most pleasant of places to be), restricting their attempts to hurt yet more lives and dodging the bullets they send flying my way when I block their efforts, metaphorically speaking of course, it's usually fists, feet, heads or the nearest object they can find. Don't worry I'm pretty good at dancing like a butterfly. My blog is the opportunity to escape into the person I like to be, with friends I like to be with.
So what on earth do you do when there is a potential risk to someone, who may or may not be who they claim to be, who you don't know. Well I left 'her' a friendly, hopefully non patronising comment warning her that not everyone is who they seem in the blogosphere and perhaps she may want to reconsider putting her email address on her blog. That done I returned home, as I did so my eye caught the photo in my sidebar and I remembered the post that was hidden beneath it... giddy aunt, nice one St Jude!
4 hours ago