A 17 year old girl has been murdered after meeting a predator on Facebook.
The girl agreed to meet a man who claimed to be a 16 year old boy who allegedly then murdered her.
The usual criticisms of social media have been rolled out by the usual suspects along with the traditional warning of the dangers of meeting complete strangers you’ve only talked to online and reminder that people online might not be who they claim.
I know it’s wrong to speak ill of the dead but online safety really isn’t rocket science is it? Common sense tells you that you don’t go and meet a complete stranger you’ve met on Facebook on your own. What possible steps could Facebook have taken other than reading every interaction between their millions of users and inserting advice such as “are you sure this complete stranger isn’t a pscho murderer?” and “I wouldn’t agree to meet him if I was you” into every message?
Let’s put this into perspective – this wasn’t some 13 year old kid whose naiveity has been exploited, it was a 17 year old young adult, past school age, old enough to be out working, old enough to be married with kids. Should she have known better? Yes she should. Does this mean every other person on social networking sites are sexual deviants or mass murders? No it doesn’t. It’s sad that she was murdered but do we really need endless hand wringing and navel gazing every time someone has a common sense bypass involving a social networking site?