[The lack of fold on this is deliberate; it’s more or less front page news.]
I never intended my initial comment on Nick’s show to garner the reaction it did, but I think what capped it all was this.
== begin ==
Name: A B | E-mail: email@example.com
1I love your Band so mutch I HVE MY OWN BAND IT’S CALLED DOOM CALL ME MABE MY BAND CAN HAVE YOU OVER AT MY HOUSE SOME TIME AND TEACH US SOME MOVES PPPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLLLZZZZZZZZZZZ i’D LOVE THAT i’M THE BAND LEADER CALL ME AT [PHONE NUMBER DELETED] I’D LOVE FOR YOU TO CALL ME I’M 10 i LIVE IN CALIFORNIA IN [CITY DELETED] AT [ADDRESS DELETED]. PS. THIS IS MY MOTHERS EMAIL
== end ==
Per my moderation policy, I keep comments from first-time posters in a pool that locks them out until I approve them; in this case I’m glad I did, because the boy who wrote the above had, without guile and in all innocence, put absolutely discernible biometric information about himself into his message.
A ten-year-old put his home address and phone number into a message, intended to be read by the folks involved in NBB, online for everyone to see. He basically said, Hey, molesters, here’s where I live, come on by and take me away.
The phone number, I think, is genuine, and when I Googlemapped the address, it gave a legitimate location, satellite-mapped to an actual tree-shrouded house in suburban California.
Listen, kids who are fans of the show: I understand you like it, and want to get in touch with Nat and Alex; but this website is not the way to do it. I don’t know the boys, and am not in any way associated with them. What you post here is probably never going to be read by any of them.
But listen closer. When you try to get in touch with them by putting your name, address and phone number online, you’re not really reaching Nat & Alex at all. What you’re actually doing is telling the world: I’m a young kid, and I live here, and here is how to get in touch with me — and if anyone who happens to be a child molester sees this information, you can be totally guaranteed that he’ll use it to call you, find you and rape you.
The phone will ring and you’ll hear something like this: “Hi, [your name]? I saw you like the NBB a lot and have a band yourself. Well, we’d really like to get togethger with you on this. So when can we meet?” And he’ll pick a time when your folks aren’t home, or pick a place near your house, and then he’ll meet you — and what you meet won’t be a NBB representative. He’ll be a pervert.
If you want to talk to Nat and Alex, that’s fine. But you can’t do it here. You have to do it with the NBB fansite at Nick.
And even then, NEVER tell anyone where you live, or what your phone number is, on the internet.
If you love NBB, that’s OK. But here is not the place to meet or talk to them. Wait until they have a concert or something near you, and never tell anyone online where you live or what your phone number is.
Because the things that live under your bed or in your closet are make-believe; the nightmares you have of being lost and cold and alone, away from your mom and dad and forgotten in the dark, are terrible; but there are real monsters in the world, and they would love to know things like your home address and phone number, and they will do things to you that are far too horrible for you to imagine.
And those monsters don’t care about how scared you are, how bad it is, or how much you wish you could see home again.
If they can find you, they will hurt you, and they just don’t care about anything.
So NEVER put your home address or phone number on the internet.
UPDATE: I sent this to the Nick folks.
Back in December I blogged about NBB; since then my site has been getting about 100 hits per day on this page.
This weekend I got a followup from a kid who tried to post his name, address and phone number in an an attempt to get in touch with NBB.
You’re pretty goddamned fortunate I’m a scrupulous site admin who keeps his posts in moderation pools and doesn’t just let first-timers in or the kid’s phone number, age, address and name would all be posted for the world to see; and you’re just as lucky I’m not a molester, or I’d use that information to terrible ends.
In the midst of the hype surrounding NBB, can you possibly try to remind your young viewers that posting biometric data about themselves in an attempt to reach NBB is a bad idea — and that the best way to talk to NBB is via your site?
And while you’re at it, do consider jettisoning the show completely.
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