Interviewer: Thank you for joining us today, Sean. Can you tell us a little bit about GameSafe and the work that you do to protect children in online gaming communities?
Sean Bair: Absolutely. GameSafe is a company that is dedicated to creating a safe and positive online gaming experience for children. We understand that online gaming is a popular and fun activity for kids, but it also comes with risks, especially when it comes to interactions with strangers in chat rooms and forums. That’s why we work to educate kids, parents, and game developers about how to recognize and prevent online grooming and exploitation.
Interviewer: That sounds like important work. Can you tell us more about the issue of children being approached in game chats and enticed to send inappropriate pictures?
Sean Bair: Unfortunately, this is a very real and significant problem. Predators will often use chat rooms and forums within games to make contact with children and try to build trust and rapport with them. They may present themselves as fellow gamers or even as friends or mentors. Once they have established a relationship, they may try to convince the child to send inappropriate pictures or videos, either directly or through a third party.
Once these images have been sent, the predator may use AI and other technologies to manipulate or alter the images in order to create even more inappropriate content. They may then use this content to blackmail the child, threatening to share it with their friends or family unless the child agrees to send more explicit material or even meet in person.
Interviewer: That’s really disturbing. What can be done to prevent this from happening and protect children from these kinds of predators?
Sean Bair: There are a few steps that parents and children can take to reduce the risk of being targeted by online predators:
Educate children about online safety and the risks of sharing personal information or images with strangers.
Set limits on the amount of time that children can spend online and monitor their online activities.
Use parental controls to block inappropriate content and restrict access to chat rooms and forums.
Encourage children to speak to a trusted adult if they receive any inappropriate messages or requests for images.
Report any suspicious or concerning behavior to the game developer or to law enforcement.
It’s also important for game developers to take steps to protect children in their communities. This can include implementing stricter moderation policies, providing resources and education for players and parents, and working with law enforcement to identify and stop predatory behavior.
Interviewer: Thank you for sharing that information, Sean. It’s clear that online safety is a critical issue for children and parents to be aware of. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Sean Bair: I’d just like to emphasize the importance of being vigilant and proactive when it comes to online safety. The internet is a great resource, but it’s important to remember that there are risks involved. By educating ourselves and our children, setting limits, and being aware of the potential dangers, we can help to create a safer online environment for everyone