This afternoon I accessed my Facebook account. I’m not a big user of Facebook, so it’s the first time for a few days that I’ve looked at it. So, imagine my surprise when the first post in my timeline is a video of what appears to be a very young man – at first glance about 19-20 – being physically assaulted. Head-butted to the ground, to be specific.
Despite my awareness of a sub-culture which enjoys viewing this kind of violence (remember ‘Happy Slapping’ anyone?) this is not the kind of thing that I like to see. Quickly though I realised that it wasn’t what I thought. My clue was the comment “Crackin yed butt this….deserved it little nonce !!!” which accompanied the video. Let me explain:
This video has been posted on Facebook by a sick, vile, evil person who believes that it is okay to go on the internet and pose as a 14-year-old girl. Why? To deliberately trap adults who are using the internet to groom and exploit young girls into meeting him so that he can video them, attack them and then ‘name and shame’ them online.
Of course I’m not going to defend the actions of someone who, I understand, has admitted attempting to ‘groom’ a 14-year-old girl online and then meet them in person. But, nobody has the right to behave as this person has done. We have a police force and intelligence services who do a magnificent job of protecting children and young people, and do it without the need for idiots to behave with this immature, mob mentality.
Whatever he may, or may not, have done wrong this young man needs help and support to ensure that he doesn’t go on to offend. Nobody deserves to be treated this way. Nobody. It makes me ashamed to be a member of the community in which I live and ashamed to have to exist in the same world as these lunatics.