Kids scare each other by impersonating online pedophiles

British schoolchildren in the west of England are terrorizing their chums by impersonating pedophile stalkers.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police told the Manchester Grauniad:

"Information from the public has highlighted a possibility that the offenders could be children aged 10 and over, masquerading as a paedophile. The investigations are continuing and at this moment we are looking into every line of inquiry and are not ruling out any possibility. However, the language used on the social networking sites such as Bebo and MSN is at times childish. [No change there, then - Ed]

"It could be youngsters playing a sick game to try and intimidate friends they have fallen out with. This will be treated seriously and we will be contacting the families of the children involved and we will try and help them by involving social services."

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  1. this seems like an electronic version of the tricks we would pull as kids. a friend trying to convince you that the claw man, or the escaped lunatic was outside your window … kids are smart — they know that the pedo is the monster-of-the-moment, so why not put on the pedo mask and scare your friends and enemies …

  2. “Information from the public has highlighted a possibility that the offenders could be children aged 10 and over, masquerading as a paedophile”

    Which part of kids pretending to be adults pretending to be kids is the problem here?

  3. So let me see if I get this right…

    On the one hand, you have creepy 30-year-old men pretending to be pre-teens so they can get into the pants of pre-teens.

    On the other hand, you have pre-teens pretending to be creepy 30-year-old men to scare their fellow pre-teen friends.

    So I guess if I want to meet 30-year-old men online, I should pretend to be a pre-teen?

  4. Kind of inevitable… the news in the UK makes such an endless fuss about paedophiles, after all. #1 hit the nail on the head.

  5. The spelling of guardian as grauniad leads me to believe that this article has been lifted from “private eye” a noted british satirical newspaper.

    Anyone else spot that?

  6. @relain (#6): If you follow the links it’s really in the Guardian. I guess the guy at the Inquirer reads the Eye.

  7. “However, the language used on the social networking sites such as Bebo and MSN is at times childish.”

    So, what they are saying is that these investigators have never actually spent any time online, and somehow think that adults wouldn’t use childish language online, and so it must be kids. They don’t yet realize that 80% of the net populace uses the same childish shorthand and lousy spelling/grammar…

  8. Japan has long had problems with train gropers. One reaction was women-only cars. What occurred to me at the time was an obvious need for pervert-only cars was being overlooked. Just as some enjoy molesting, some others enjoy being molested. The idea being: if you are in this place, it’s for a reason. Sadly, the train companies lack the courage.

    Not being particularly interested in the sexual molestation of others I must confess a gap in my knowledge: Are there all child-molester websites?
    Would it be a good idea to establish some so those persons could pretend to be 12 years old on-line with like-minded other adults? The next question of course would be; if such sites existed, would any harm be being done?

  9. If they unknowingly attempt to run an MSNBC-style sting on these 10-year-old pedophile poseurs, by enlisting an agent to engage them in incriminating sexual conversation, could the agent be collared for sexual conduct with a minor?

    I always thought that would make a great South Park episode.

  10. “Yo Weiner, you better get ready, ’cause at three o’ clock today, I’m gonna RAPE you!”
    -Welcome to the Dollhouse

  11. Japan has long had problems with train gropers. One reaction was women-only cars.

    The other is for men to hold their arms above their heads for the duration of the ride. In a rare nod to Western culture, non-Japanese are being lauded as role models for determining personal space. How they square that with the guys who pack people onto the trains beats me.

  12. As a parent of (then) teenagers, I can assure you that this was common in chat rooms at least 7 years ago.

    I wonder how many of the “hundreds of millions” of pedos we’re told are out these are really kids pranking each other.

  13. “the offenders could be children aged 10 and over, masquerading as a paedophile”

    Does this mean that the children masquerading as paeds are “offenders”? In the UK, of course, where we lock up kids all the time, it probably does…

  14. I can so see kids doing this, too.

    So now it goes “The internet: where the men are men, the women are men, the children are FBI agents, and the pedophiles are children”

  15. @ #6 I’m afraid I nearly always refer to that paper as ‘The Grauniad’. It’s a meme that’s stuck with me.

  16. or could it be that the coppers need a new glossary of pre-teen netspeak, where words like pimping, stalking and friending have an accurate contemporary definition?

  17. What are ten year olds doing on an unsupervised Internet anyway?

    Same thing they’re doing with the unsupervised cable channels? Knowing no boundaries.

  18. What occurred to me at the time was an obvious need for pervert-only cars was being overlooked.

    I agree in principle, but this necessitates announcing that you’re a pervert, which kinda sucks the fun out of it.

    What are ten year olds doing on an unsupervised Internet anyway?

    Are you fucking kidding me? I bet you’re the type who thinks kids don’t watch “rated R” movies either.

  19. Same thing they’re doing with the unsupervised cable channels? Knowing no boundaries.

    It’s because of people like this that we have shit like the mandatory V-chip and those stupid TV ratings boxes in the corner.

    If only we put as much time and effort into providing each child with their own netbook to explore the online world knowing no boundaries.

    But most parents fear autonomy because it’s antithetical to authoritarian control. God forbid you actually have to parent your children with reason and the Socratic method — they might actually form their own independent thoughts and belief systems! *gasp*

  20. if we are reviving this thread, bring on the Monkey Dust.

    Hell yes! It’s the true successor to Adult Swim (and in some ways, even to Liquid Television and USA’s Up All Night).

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