Using fresh news stories can be a great way for parents to spark discussions with their kids and teens about how to be a good cyber citizen. “Table Talk” is a new series on Breaking Free, passing along headlines related to Internet temptations and dangers.. . . .
A woman created a fake Facebook profile, posing as a 17-year-old girl, so she could “friend” her ex-husband in hopes of getting information that she could use against him in their child custody case. He befriended the young “Jessica Studebaker” and spoke to her about how he had plans to kill his ex-wife and run away with his kids. The FBI promptly arrested him. But wait! The charges were later dropped when he produced a notarized affidavit, dated before the messages were exchanged, claiming he knew it was his wife’s ruse all along.
- How easy do you think it is to create a fake profile on Facebook?
- What should you do if you are contacted by someone you don’t know online?
- People often re-label immoral behavior done online. Lying is still lying when it is done over the Internet. Why do you think people who don’t typically lie in “real life” lie online?
In the wake of the “WeinerGate” photo scandal, people are asking all kinds of questions about the Internet’s role in romantic and sexual relationships.
- Just how common do you think “sexting” is? Do you know anyone who has passed along an inappropriate photo online or through a cell phone?
- Is the Internet to blame for people cheating on their spouses? Does the Internet make it easier to cheat?
- Does the widespread availability of sexual media online shape people’s perspectives on sex?
A 14-year-old boy believed two other boys were interested in a girl he liked, so he sent them threatening messages through Facebook. He was later arrested by the Essex County Cyber Crimes Unit.
- Do you think police need to take threats sent through the Internet seriously?
- Is it easier for people to harass others through the Internet vs. face-to-face? Why do you think that is?
The law in California used to say retail stores could not sell violent interactive video games to minors. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled this law is unconstitutional, putting responsibility over this squarely into the hands of parents.
- Do you think it should be illegal for kids to buy extremely violent games? Should the same be true for violent movies?
- It is still illegal for children to buy games or music with “obscene” sexual content and this has never been ruled a violation of First Amendment rights. Should the government treat violent content and sexual content differently when it comes to the law?