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Check out this eye-opening piece from PBS' MediaShift about Dangers Overblown for Teens Using Social Media
, which reminds us that the myth of the Internet predator is largely a creation of the media. According to the piece, young children are not the typical victim of online sex crimes, assailants are not pretending to be anything other than creepy losers that they are, and abductions or kidnappings are exceedingly rare.
The real issue here according to the article is teens with troubled home lives and or past experiences of sexual or physical abuse. "This is a very different picture of who is at risk than a teen who simply posts their photo and the name of their high school on a MySpace profile."