Child Protection in a Digital Age ‘It is real and it’s a serious threat…  It’s about time that we addressed it with a bit more seriousness than just letting it be a tabloid headline.’

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

Share this Post

“If you’re about to get out of your car to go into the office this morning, wait for just a second because this is going to be relevant to you.”  So said Ryan Tubridy, opening the door on the terrifying and all-too-prevalent issue of paedophiles preying on children via their mobile phones and social media sites.   The papers this morning were filled with the story of a Dublin man who sexually exploited girls as young as 9 through social media.  Ryan said,

“It is real and it’s a serious threat…  It’s about time that we addressed it with a bit more seriousness than just letting it be a tabloid headline.  Tabloids are underestimated and undervalued too often…  The truth of the matter is that sometimes and oftentimes we have to listen to them because they’re shouting at us sometimes, Cassandra style, and we’re not listening.”

Ryan applauded the Daily Mail for drawing attention to this issue in recent weeks and says “certainly it’s time to confront what is definitely a demon among us.”

“We should be conscious of the fact that we have been reporting on children who are dying by suicide in this country and beyond because of this, what is essentially a scourge, and one that hasn’t been regulated in any meaningful way…   You see people like Mark Zuckerberg saying, oh we’re trying to make a kinder Facebook, we’re trying to do nicer things, and others saying it’s not our responsibility, we simply give you the platform, you can do whatever you want on the platform, and things get lost in this Wild West.”

Ryan received what he described as a “tsunami” of texts on the subject, calling for definitive action to be taken by parents and regulators.  One said, “In this age of IT, the tiptoeing around this issue must stop.”  That texter also made the point that we need to not only protect the young but to create facilities for the treatment of those with urges to prey on children to encourage a safer society.

One texter pointed out that “It’s incorrect to say smartphones are phones.  They are in fact computers…  We put child protection software on our laptop but never on these mini computers our children carry everywhere.”  Texter Lisa said, “Like every other parent, I always worried about paedophiles approaching my children.  I never thought I’d see the day that thousands of them would be presented to them via a mobile phone.”

Ryan is clear that something must be done, in the home, in schools and at a governmental level and it’s an issue he plans to return to.

“You can’t drink if you’re under 18 and then you can go into this Narnia of chaos in the mobile phone, would you not put an age on it, I’m coming round to that idea myself.”

 Click here to listen to that discussion in full on The Ryan Tubridy Show.

© The Listener 2018

Share this Post

Next Up