From beauty tips to career consultancy and grooming help, Facebook has everything that youngsters would want to see and learn from. The social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterst, LinkedIn, etc, have its own pros and cons and it completely depends on a person how he or she uses it.
In a recent incident that took place at Peterborough, two UK men convicted of grooming girls through Facebook and alluring them into meetings at hotels or cars to sexually abuse them. The victims caught in the incident are as young as 13 and as per BBC coverage, the convicts named Yasir Ali (28), and Daaim Ashraf (19) are from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
According to the reports, the Cambridge Crown Court found the two men guilty followed by a trial that confirms that Ali was convicted of 15 charges, including four rapes, seven trafficking offences, possession of two lewd images, sexual activity with a child and intimidation. Later it was found that he was cleared of one charge.
The other convict Ashraf too was found guilty of trafficking offences, sexual assault, sexual activity with a child, sexual activity in presence of a child and intimidation. This was not the first time that any such incident had taken place, earlier in the month, two other men from Peterborough were found guilty of rape and sexual abuse with eight local girls between the age of 13 and 16. However, later the men were cleared of charges.
Though, it totally depends on how an individual uses it but the incidents like these shows how unsafe Facebook can be for the youngsters. â€śThe two men convicted for the crime used Facebook to groom vulnerable girls,â€ť said Det Supt Gary Ridgway, from Cambridgeshire Police.
They used to pick up girls, made them drink alcohol, and consequently used them as â€śsex objects.â€ť The police said that the victims were abused at one of the hotel in Peterborough and some of them were even filmed on a mobile phone. Not only this, but two of them were raped in cars at Ferry Meadows in 2008 and 2010, and one in an alleyway in Stamford.
These daysâ€™ criminals use Facebook and other social media platforms to commit such crime because it gives them an easy way to lure targets. They can lie about their age or identities, pretend to be wealthy or celebrities, gain trust, and then abuse children by bringing them into stripping, and other sexual activities.
This is not the only incident that happened around Internet, there are many such episodes where predator takes the help of social media to incite children to engage in sexual activity. The children must know how to spot online predators and understand how they groom victims with flattery and lies.