Report Labels Habbo a "Pedophile Haven"

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(Edit cuz of half-finished thought.)

Treblaine:
But I wonder if the reporter on this story actually "reported" any of these cases of abuse to the moderator when even a child would know from constantly being warned to report these sort of things. The news article never mentions anything of any reporting process.

Well, given that the article specifically mentioned that the first thing someone tried was to get them OFF that onto another chat program....

Also, it would make sense to have a machine as the first line of defense, but tends to be w03fu11y in@d3qu@t3!

RazadaMk2:

Treblaine:
Did the reporter pretend to be a child? If not, then it seems they have only outlined examples of lechery, not paedophilia. A girl getting hit on when she is 17 is hardly an example of paedophilia and the age of consent in UK (and most US States) is 16 years old.

"Rachel Seifert spent two months playing this seemingly innocent game posing as a young girl."

Hmm, suspiciously vague. And I don't think these games even advertise the user's age. And this is a game mainly for teenagers mainly.

It should be obvious to everyone that there is a HUGE difference between a high school romance and paedophilia... even though the high school sweethearts are both technically children.

I remember school, sexual jockying is way teenagers talk TO EACH OTHER and violence is reference flippantly and innocently. Can the company or any authority really except to stop teenagers being sexual to each other? How do you make sure none of their users are OVER 18!!?!?! This seems to be a double standard, what is OK in the playground is unacceptable in a video game because, err, I guess old people will say "Well they didn't have video games when I was a kid".

I think we need to be careful and cool the inner Jack Bauer in us before we start any ends-justify-the-means knee jerk reaction.

Do we ACTUALLY have cases of adult men exploiting pre-pubescent or barely pubescent girls?!? OR... do we just have a case of teenage boys being lecherous to teenage girls.

Remember, this game isn't target to anyone under 13 year old. I'd like to hear from anyone here who went to a co-ed school through ages 13-18 you never heard nor were involved in any sexual activity... who weren't in the mathletics team.

You only read the report, didnt you?

The actual news report covered two cases of pedos in the UK usign the website as a grooming tool, plus covers in depth how the situation is on the site.

So yes, there are cases of adult men exploiting pre-pubescent or barely pubescent girls using the website. Sure, there is going to be a lot of cases of teenage males doing the same but hell, still a crime.

And the game is actually targetted at those above the age of 13, it has an age restriction (That is ignored, naturally) but still.

Go watch the report. Then post.

There is a huge contradiction here:

-You cannot sign up to this service if you are under the age of 13. They'd have to claim they are older than they are, and all the avatars look like adults.
-Paedophilia is attraction to pre-pubescent children, which contrary to being over 13 years of age.

The video report is pretty shoddy with it's fact checking:
"250 million users"

How did they get that number from only 9 million users? Maybe they mean 250 million who EVER used the site.

As soon as she described herself as 11 years old on the site she should have been kicked off the site for breaking the rules. Did she start every new conversation with "I'm only 11 years old" or was her in game name "11yo-totally-not-a-journalist"

"People were having sex with me, without my permission"

There is absolutely no sexual intercourse mechanic in the game. That's impossible. Someone saying "eye, am touching yer bewbs" isn't having sex. It's also obvious they don't consider her 11 years old if they are talking about breasts.

(someone asks "what your body is like") immediately he says "Well a moderator should be jumping in right about now"

HOW YOU BLITHERING OAF!! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!!! It couldn't even work based on key words?!? How can there be one moderator per user conversation?!? This guy is advising the government?!? Why doesn't he EVER suggest (on camera) that they report this to moderators?

"For the purposes of this, we'll say I'm 11"

That just shows how easily that could be seen as a lie. Especially as revealing you were under 13 would be bannable on the game forfeiting EVERYTHING that you paid good money for.

But even if they were 11, at that age they are taught have a certain sense of what not to do. 11 year old girls are expected to walk to and from school unaccompanied, it's expected that if some pedo drives up and suggest she just take off all her clothes right there... that's not going to happen. Why would it suddenly happen here in the parent's home where a parent is likely RIGHT THERE in the same room.

Habbo is NO DIFFERENT from the reality of life in Britain where everyone under 16 is mandated to go to school and the government provides no school buses, so they MUST be unaccompanied in the streets.

The key thing is whether the pervert meets the child on Habbo or on the Streets going to and from school, the ONLY way abuse can be prevented is to educate these kids about these dangers.

So they found two pedophiles out of what they claim are 250 million users in total ever, and all throughout this the moderators were avoided, with it ultimately going off site and even being on the site in the first place under the age of 13. So what the fuck is Habbo supposed to do? How can they give a criminal background check and vouch that every user is under 18? Do they have to kick them out when they are over 18?

Ultimately it is the same risk in Habbo as a girl ever walking anywhere without her parent by her side, some pedo could just talk to her.

The thing is if parent don't think they have educated their child enough to not fall for pedos traps, or not report them, then they should:
(1) never let their children walk to school without a parent or guardian with them
(2) never let them play outside or in a park where they aren't constantly within earshot
(3) never let them use the internet at all without heavy filters and public supervision
(4) no mobile phones nor any games console like Nintendo DS with the picto-chat near field communication.

But how will they ever learn to report unwanted advances?

"no one wants the whole internet regulated, but the places where children play must be safe"

Well considering children (under 18) could interact anywhere then this IS SAYING everywhere should be regulated! The EXACT SAME THING could happen on THIS very website. An 11 year old girl (or a 30 year old woman imagining she is 11 years old) makes an account here and, lies (or tells the truth and imagines to be lying) about being over 18 years old, and some other forum member could ask her something sexual in a reply or in a private message inviting her to a pirvate chat.

Now the regulation they seem to want is impossible. They want on the child-safe areas a person individually monitoring and vetting every single line of communication. They seem to suggest a Wall of Segregation between adults and children on the internet and no teenage boys to express any sexual interest in their classmates... to spite the mismatch between age of consent (16) and age of adulthood (18).

You know whats funny about this? Just the other day I was thinking; "Whatever happened to that Habbo thing?"

Formica Archonis:
(Edit cuz of half-finished thought.)

Treblaine:
But I wonder if the reporter on this story actually "reported" any of these cases of abuse to the moderator when even a child would know from constantly being warned to report these sort of things. The news article never mentions anything of any reporting process.

Well, given that the article specifically mentioned that the first thing someone tried was to get them OFF that onto another chat program....

Also, it would make sense to have a machine as the first line of defense, but tends to be w03fu11y in@d3qu@t3!

Yeah, you report to moderator WHEN they suggest moving off to another program. Actually you report them after the body comments and "like older men".

If they say something on another network, you can still report them on the network where it originated from.

But what do you do if right from the outset users are breaking the rules that were put there to protect them like being on the game under the age of 13? Or not reporting sexual harassment. Not blocking unwanted communications.

I heard this interesting quote from a cop in america:
"People say they don't report anything to the cops because *nothing* gets done... but we can't do ANYTHING unless crimes are reported and people come forward. Human intel is the foundation, pillar and keystone to enforcing the law."

Every report helps. If they are habitual in their harassment and have 20 complaints against one user, they get pursued even if they don't personally come round your house and give to a big shiny medal to every person who reported harassing comments

Kroxile:
Haha, Pool's Closed!

Hey, Blackup, man!
Let's not be hasty about this.

DVS BSTrD:
Oh hi Myspace, I didn't recognize you for a second there.

read that first part as:

OT: I remember raiding Habbo a few years back, god damn it was hilarious.

also, those 255 or so moderators obviously cant do their job, we had the pool closed off for about two hours with varying degree's of swastikas around it spewing out meme's before someone got banned.

and it was only for spamming.

also, Curry Favour.

Captcha, what'chu getting on about? curry gives no favours, only pain.

albinoterrorist:

Kroxile:
Haha, Pool's Closed!

Hey, Blackup, man!
Let's not be hasty about this.

Unfortunately due to your waffling, not everyone in the pool could be saved.

OT: This is why it's up to individuals to raise their own damn kids. There are pervs and even occasional predators on the internet. We've known this for a very, very long time. Don't want your kids to encounter them? Restrict their access.

My brother spent a rediculous amount of time on there about 10 years ago. And money, he was constantly buying the stupid currency for stupid furniture items.

I took a look one day and got our IP banned for 14 years. I think I did him a favour.

I don't get what the problem is.
ASL was totally legit.

Seriously though, I never ran into any of that kinda stuff when I played it, except that one time someone left a note in my 'room' saying that they loved me, but I would never find out who they were.

At first I was concerned, but then I saw Channel 4 ... Which isn't that far a shot off Fox News. There may be a problem there, but I highly doubt its as bad as they've blown it up to be.

Antari:
At first I was concerned, but then I saw Channel 4 ... Which isn't that far a shot off Fox News. There may be a problem there, but I highly doubt its as bad as they've blown it up to be.

Can you even get Channel 4 in North America, or are you thinking of a different Channel 4?

Channel 4 in the UK, who reported this, isn't anything like Fox News at all.

I'd even go as far to say that even the most un-Fox-like news program in North America is still more like Fox News than Channel 4 is.

Jamash:

Antari:
At first I was concerned, but then I saw Channel 4 ... Which isn't that far a shot off Fox News. There may be a problem there, but I highly doubt its as bad as they've blown it up to be.

Can you even get Channel 4 in North America, or are you thinking of a different Channel 4?

Channel 4 in the UK, who reported this, isn't anything like Fox News at all.

I'd even go as far to say that even the most un-Fox-like news program in North America is still more like Fox News than Channel 4 is.

In my area, the Fox affiliate station is on channel 4!

:O

'course many years ago it used to be the CBS affiliate, then they moved to 11...

Yes, TV works a bit differently over here apparently.

BENZOOKA:
Rovio with their mad birds and now Habbo. It's Finnish days in the Escapist newsroom it seems.

I remember when it began getting national recognition around 2000. Nine million now, huh? Crazy.

You wouldn't see it if you played it. With the rise of F2P MMORPGS (especially with MapleStory) their active population actually took a huuuge nosedive. I remember when there was enough players for there to be a Canadian version that was actually very busy and players made and hosted their own radio stations that got significant traffic.

But the Canada Habbo got too slow so they merged it with the US version, and it's no where near as populous as it used to be. I'm sure the vast majority of the 9-million new users per month play it once or twice before never touching it again. Probably left when they realized it wasn't a game at all and just a glorified chatroom.

EDIT: Out of curiosity I made a new account on Habbo. Turns out the entire thing is muted for all players due to this news segment and there's an investigation going on.

Yan007:

Alterego-X:
These predators who keep rubbing their fetish in everyone's faces (including children) are giving us ordinary pedophiles a bad reputation.

I can't be the only one that finds this comment extremely disturbing? So you are a good pedophile? wtf?!

What is jokes?
----------------------------------------------

Hold on guys... What if the pedophiles on habbo are actually hitting... on other pedophiles?

Or it could just be the target demo. Hard to really say on the internet. You find all kinds of weirdos, trolls and crazies out there, and as much as we'd like to believe otherwise, some of them aren't balding 40 year olds with pencil mustaches.

Christ on a pogostick, that old thing? Habbo Hotel was uncool even in my entire school, even the nerdiest of the nerds were like: 'Pft that's lame.'

Not surprised, 'games' that give you little else to do but make your own little virtual simulation of a real life are going to eventually degenerate into 'zomg sex pls'. It's inevitable.

Lame then, still lame now, and I honestly cannot believe that many people go within a foot of it, makes me feel unclean just hearing the name.

Was under the impression that it has always been like that, nice to see that they are finally losing their support though and that someone is listening.

Wait wait wait, how do they know there are pedophiles using this? Habbo's demographic is teenagers right? TEENAGERS? The same ones that are into sexting and send naked cellphone pictures of themselves to the opposite sex? I wouldn't surprised if it was a 13 year old rather than a pedophile that was typing those things.

As a pervert, I'm getting extremely tired of being lumped in with pedophiles, just because I roam the internet for sexual thrills.

I think the rationale was this.

Some Pedophiles own computers - therefore anything on the internet is a haven for pedos.

To be honest, if pedos are getting off talking to people who are pretending to be kids, then great, I consider that some kinda methadone. If both sides are getting their kicks and no actual children are actually being assaulted, then that's not really a problem.

As above, too, the moment puberty kicks in, teenagers are going to start talking and thinking about sex... a lot. Either talk to them, or let them learn about how sex works from one of the many err... educational sites online.

I foresee a future - 2020 - couple goes to the doctor, unable to get pregnant.

Doctor: 'And you're having sex regularly?'
Guy: 'Sure, the normal way, she blows me, I cram it up her ass then jerk off over her tits, and we just can't seem to conceive.'

Wait, wait, wait.

So the reporter heard explicit things said on game targeted at 'young teenagers'?

Ummm...well I'm not saying that there aren't unsavoury people on the internet, but I've heard some pretty grown up words from decidedly not grown up people in my time on Xbox Live. I don't think we should immediately assume paedophiles given the propensity of pre-teens to say 'fuck' a lot.

As people pointed out: Who is to say that the people posting explicit/sexual chat were not teens/kids themselves?

I remember when I was younger I saw my older brother on an internet chat room, he was around 14/15 at the time and the conversations were constantly sexual.

Who ya gonna call? CHRIS HANSEN!

I cant imagine how anyone can successfully have cyber sex on that thing. I played habbo a couple of times just for the novelty of chatting to random people like I used to on some internet forums only in a videogame format. Heaps of young foreign girls kept approaching me & ditched me the moment I told them my age (Im not on it for suspicious reasons so I dont need to lie about it).
One girl didn't care & took me back to her habbo apartment & tried cybering only I didn't know it because it had to be done in code or you get warnings if you say certain words. It took me a while to figure out exactly what was going on because I couldn't figure out what the hell she was saying. By the time I realsied she was actually cybering she must have let a word slip & got banned on the spot.

So honestly, I dont know how it could be breached any more than that.

Treblaine:
Did the reporter pretend to be a child? If not, then it seems they have only outlined examples of lechery, not paedophilia. A girl getting hit on when she is 17 is hardly an example of paedophilia and the age of consent in UK (and most US States) is 16 years old.

"Rachel Seifert spent two months playing this seemingly innocent game posing as a young girl."

Hmm, suspiciously vague. And I don't think these games even advertise the user's age. And this is a game mainly for teenagers mainly.

Channel 4 article: "Rachel Seifert writes for Channel 4 News about her shocking and sometimes sexually-explicit experiences playing the popular online game Habbo Hotel while posing as an 11-year old girl".

There it is, posing as an underage player, cut and dried. Take all that as you will, I guess.

I am surprised as everyone else that it's being said adults are the ones who say these things. You only have to play almost any online game these days to be met with a huge wave of homophobia, racism and every other form of insult and creepy request under the sun.

I can honestly say I never remember doing that whilst playing sonic the hedgehog on my megadrive. Some people just shouldn't be allowed near the internet, they seem to leave any form of acceptable behaviour at the door when they have the mighty shield of no one knowing who they are.

I wish people would pay more attention to the places children are actually being harmed -- their homes. We spend so much time afraid of the boogeyman on the internet and in the streets that most of us seem to forget that the vast, vast majority of children that are abused, are abused in their own home by a family member.

Yeah, stranger danger is bad. But odds are a kid is more likely to be molested by their parents than a stranger on the street. Let's drop the scare tactics and focus on the forest fire, not the matchstick.

This is sensationalist garbage, why is the Escapist buying into it? Oh wait, page views and ad dollars, I forgot.

IndianaJonny:

Treblaine:
Did the reporter pretend to be a child? If not, then it seems they have only outlined examples of lechery, not paedophilia. A girl getting hit on when she is 17 is hardly an example of paedophilia and the age of consent in UK (and most US States) is 16 years old.

"Rachel Seifert spent two months playing this seemingly innocent game posing as a young girl."

Hmm, suspiciously vague. And I don't think these games even advertise the user's age. And this is a game mainly for teenagers mainly.

Channel 4 article: "Rachel Seifert writes for Channel 4 News about her shocking and sometimes sexually-explicit experiences playing the popular online game Habbo Hotel while posing as an 11-year old girl".

There it is, posing as an underage player, cut and dried. Take all that as you will, I guess.

This service IS for teenagers and right away she is breaking the rules in either masquerading as an 11 year old - they are clear that you must be over the age of 13 to join Habbo - or from actually being an adult lying about their age. The very same thing that supposedly allows homosexuals is the very thing that let her conduct this report. She could not do he equivalent in a secondary school (high school) where all the children REALLY ARE 13-18 years old. I remember the lascivious talk amongst students when I was in school that age and from the whiny voices on Xbox live clearly of young teenagers yet the foul, sexual and perverse comments these are most likely all dumb kids on Habbo talking dirty.

And how the hell does one pose as an 11-year old in a game entirely made up of adult looking teenage avatars and where the age/D.O.B is not displayed in vital statistics? Were they targeted only after they stated they were 11?!? Or did they have an interest in her presumably as an adult teenager and probably (rightly) thought they were bullshitting about being 11.

Look, can we accept that teenagers are going to talk about sex to each other or are we going to indulge in some ridiculous delusion that children are completely asexual till suddenly they reach age of majority? Or worse some oppressive idea that it can or even should be forcibly suppressed? We don't hold that dangerous delusions in our schools where 13 year olds are given full sex education, access to condoms and even birth control pills. Schools do not have a zero tolerance policy of forbidding sexual banter between all students. In fact last time I checked UK schools aren't even pushing abstinence for secondary school kids.

ANYWHERE that completely censors teenagers from talking about sex cannot work. There ARE sites for under 13 year olds and parents have a responsibility to make sure they don't go on those sites just like they make sure they don't go on ogrish.

So this journalist is breaking the rules right from the start, not doing anything to report or discourage this and objecting to a lack of regulation. But ANY form of the sexual exploitation of children is totally dependent on the victims reporting, whether it is Habbo or just in a play park or in their own home with male relatives.
Yet the reporter did not take this to Habbo's formal internal polcie force to be immediately followed up on, they instead waited 2 months and wrote a broad and yellow-journalist report to go straight to their investors. THAT is sensationalist bullshit.

Habbo has 3 options, only one of them is practical:
(1) implement a universal absolute censorship system that hold every single comment to be vetted by a human being before being transmitted and file full criminal charges to anyone who says something remotely sexual
(2) shut down completely, and shut down any service from any other company which does not only forbid anyone under the age of 18 interacting online on their site, but actively enforcing this by demanding constant credit card-based agee verification. This includes Facebook, Youtube, Xbox Live and even The Escapist.
(3) continue as they are, being good moderators and acting on everything that is reported and working with the police and social services to educate and empower teenagers to report any harassment and teach them how to cut off unwanted communications.

Clearing the Eye:
I wish people would pay more attention to the places children are actually being harmed -- their homes. We spend so much time afraid of the boogeyman on the internet and in the streets that most of us seem to forget that the vast, vast majority of children that are abused, are abused in their own home by a family member.

Yeah, stranger danger is bad. But odds are a kid is more likely to be molested by their parents than a stranger on the street. Let's drop the scare tactics and focus on the forest fire, not the matchstick.

Family homes have been around since John Snow was a child so he doesn't try to ban families after cases like Baby P, just that there should be better enforcement.

Yet Habbo is new and different, so fuck accountable enforcement, just ban this new stuff and "go outside and play you damn kids" oh wait playing outside in a park the exact same thing could happen only with far worse repercussions and no recording and tracing on IP address of interactions. Habbo is WAY safer place to learn to report unwanted advances and break off communication.

Channel 4 news is being UTTERLY NAIVE saying that every single communication should have a live and instantaneous moderator. That REALLY is the equivalent of a school having a teacher hound every single student throughout the entire school day.

Just thought. Teenagers and sexual topics...yeah defo only pedos doing the talking there then.

Yan007:

Boris Goodenough:

Yan007:

I can't be the only one that finds this comment extremely disturbing? So you are a good pedophile? wtf?!

If he/she hasn't perpetrated, then yeah a good one, it's not exactly something they wish to be/have.
Or are we going to arrest people for thought crimes now and put them in camps?

Arguing that there can be "good pedophiles" is a slippery slope. Unless said pedophile gets help in the form of physical or chemical castration then that person remains a very real risk.

Yeah, like all men. Every man has the potential to be a rapist, and arguing there can be a "good man" is a slippery slope; unless a man gets help via castration to control his sexual urges, he remains a very real risk to the men or women around him.

OT: I don't like the way this report is being used. Read an article in the paper - a decent paper, too, not a red-top - about the Children's Minister (or something) taking this as justification for rampant "They're everywhere! Lock up your kids, paedos are actively hunting them all all times! BE AFRAID OF EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE!" paranoia.

Legion:
As people pointed out: Who is to say that the people posting explicit/sexual chat were not teens/kids themselves?

That's been acknowledged and bundled part-and-parcel of the same issue, the sexualisation of children either by adults or other children or the sentient pervert monster that men call The Internet.

The article I read was about a government minister using this report as evidence that child sexual activity is everywhere, but also cited several instances of kids sexting, engaging in sexual activity with other another, even taking photos of themselves. Her argument is basically "Children are under constant attack from perversion, from paedophiles, other children and worst of all themselves. Putting safety blocks on their computer isn't enough, don't you know that mobile phones are just porn-laden sex toys these days? No child is safe! Build walls, buy guns, invest in chastity belts and lock your kids in the cellar. That way, even you can't abuse them. IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO BE SAFE! It doesn't matter if you and almost every other human before you learned about sex and other human interaction through experience, kids are thinking about sex and that is EVIL"

Is child sex abuse a problem? Hell yes.

Should all young people be frozen in carbonite to reduce risk of any human contact? I don't think so.

delete, double post.

Pete peeve 2213: You can be a pedophile without being a child molester. A pedophile is simply one who is turned on by children. A child molester rapes children. Huge difference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3rhQc666Sg

Capatcha: Urban myth. You got that right.

Yeah, didn't most people know this like 8 years ago?

Also, as others have said, it could totally be some horny teenagers.

Treblaine:
Ker-SNIP

Ok, I'm not the only one to say this, but actually WATCH the report (It was a good 10 minutes or so long, and had sources for its information, and also, channel 4 is a fairly reputable news reporter.

So yeah.

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