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(A Facebook spokesman did not immediately return The Washington Post’s request for explanation.) Many of the publicly viewable teen dating groups flagrantly flout the site’s community standards: Aside from the routine harassment and borderline hate speech, “Teen Dating and Flirting” is also littered with explicit pornography.
It’s unclear if the subjects of all those photos are adults.
Many adults use online dating to meet people because they are busy and their social circles tend to shrink as they get older.
The advantage that teens have over their adult counterparts is that they have a built in social network in their schools and outside activities.
The group, and many thousands of others like it, is less about dating than rating: Teens post pouty, suggestive selfies, which other teens or adults pretending to be teens grade; the comments then invariably devolve into either requests for further contact (“add me,” “send nudes”) or flat-out cyberbullying (“barely a 4,” “gross,” “ew”).
Teen online dating sites are starting to pop up all over the web.
Most of the sites claim to be for teen online dating but they are either places for pedophiles to prey upon vulnerable teens or random chat rooms.
While teen dating groups, both public and closed, have been common on Facebook for years, the genre has come to light this week for tragic reasons: 13-year-old Nicole Lovell was reportedly bullied by the group only weeks before her January disappearance. 1, she posted a selfie to the forum with the caption “cute or nah.” Of the 304 responses, most were overtly vicious.
That’s sparked a wave of outrage and concern from parents, educators and advocates.The Internet provides them with a playing field like no other area of their lives.