How concerned are you about your children’s social media use, even if they’re teenagers or young adults, knowing that sex predators are preying on victims through social media?
If you’re concerned, you have every reason to be.
In collaboration with the parents of three teenage girls, YouTuber Coby Persin conducted an eye-opening experiment to see if these unwitting girls would fall victim to a sex predator. The results were alarming, frightening, and deeply shocking to the parents and girls involved.
In a video uploaded to YouTube in August 2015, Coby shows how he so easily created a fake profile of a 15-year-old teenage boy, complete with a charming photograph, and added three girls to his contacts. Each accepted his request.
The first girl he attempts to meet is 13-year-old Mikayla. She informs Coby, who’s posing as “Jason,” via instant messenger that “my parents just left I can be at the park in 10 minutes.”
Coby arrives at the park. Hidden cameras are set up. Mikayla’s father is there too, hidden, most likely with bated breath. He’s probably wondering why his daughter agreed to come to the park to meet a stranger she met online in the first place.
As the 13-year-old shows up, Coby confirms it’s her. “Mikayla!” he calls out. “… from Facebook…”
Although he looks nothing like “Jason,” whom he posed as, Mikayla slowly walks over.
Her father, seething with anger to see his daughter so easily deceived, bolts out yelling, “Mikayla!”
The startled girl jumps in fright.
“Are you crazy!?” Her father continues. “Are you out of your mind!? He could’ve been a rapist. He could’ve been a pedophile. Why would you do this?”
Coby lets Mikayla know he was only posing as “Jason,” and warns her to be careful about talking to strangers online moving forward.
Still fuming, but seemingly trying to contain his anger, the father poses a question to his daughter: “Do you realize how scary this could’ve been?”
He leans in to kiss Mikayla’s forehead and tells her, “We have to talk.”
And thus the trepidatious playground scene ends. No doubt, hearts would be palpitating a little faster than normal, but thankfully, this is only an experiment, albeit a shocking one. It’s one that hopefully drills in a lesson on stranger danger and the ills of social media that both father and daughter won’t forget, including everyone watching.
The next two experiments, one involving a 12-year-old, the other a 14-year-old, are also disconcerting. You’ll need to watch the video down below for all three experiments.
Based on a real incident
Coby was inspired to create this experiment after learning of a real incident involving a 12-year-old girl who almost fell victim to a sex predator, had it not been for her father, who saved her at the last minute.
The Los Angeles father, Tim LeBlanc, happened to be up at 2 a.m. and found his daughter’s window open. She wasn’t in her room.
Scared to death, he took his oldest son outside with him to search the neighborhood. They soon found a young man, later identified as 27-year-old Scott Stilwell, from San Diego County, with his arm around LeBlanc’s daughter, trying to force her into his truck.
The guy had conned the teenage girl online, making her believe he was only 15 years old.
LeBlanc knocked him out in self-defense. Police soon arrived on the scene and arrested the subject. It was determined Stilwell was indeed a sex predator, and he was accused of meeting a child with the intention of committing a sex act. He had been caught talking sexually to the 12-year-old and had been sending nude pictures to the girl online.
“From my interaction with this guy is, I don’t think that she would have ever came home alive,” LeBlanc tells CBS Los Angeles in a June 2015 report.
The dad, who used to be called “overprotective,” now says he’s actually “under-protective,” and has banned his daughter from using social media since the scary incident.
Whilst it’s sad that parents need to be more concerned than ever about their children’s internet use in today’s day and age, the reality is there are indeed predators out there, and Coby’s experiment should be viewed as an educational warning to not casually trust any random stranger online. They could be anyone!
Watch the eye-opening experiment below: