"The internet is the new playground or schoolyard where pedophiles go to meet children. Cyber pedophiles almost always have a history of sexual conduct with children and now use chat rooms to contact children directly. Cyber pedophiles usually have interest in child pornography or sexual urges and fantasies with children. The legal system has seen an alarming increase in the number of pedophiles over the past several years. Statistics show that 1 in 5 children who use computer chat rooms have been approached by a pedophile and 1 in 7 kids who use the internet have been solicited for sex online. Law enforcement officials estimate as many as 50,000 sexual predators are online at any given moment."
"Children will only be able to accept new online "friends" if their Petimos are brought into physical contact first, to guard against cyberbullies and paedophiles masquerading as children. The devices work in conjunction with an online social network called Petimo-World in which they are represented by avatars. By squeezing their physical Petimos, or pressing buttons on them, children can send messages or "gifts" to their online friends.
Parents are notified each time a friend request is made and can block approaches that concern them, so children only see and interact online with the avatars of approved friends.
Meantime, UK group E-Victims, advocating safety for both children and adults on online sex crimes, contend that the system may be quite limited with the restricted content of Petimo World as online children are bound to be bored .
"Children young enough to be content with a walled garden approach and its limitations will probably be too young to be seriously interested
in the chat element."
To this, UK
police officials last March called on social networking sites to place a standard "panic button" designed by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre on all pages, to help ensure safety for children against online sex crimes, and against cyberbullying and cyberpedophilia.