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Chat rooms -- like e-mail, instant messaging (IM) and online social networks -- are virtual extensions of real-world human interaction.Chat rooms are online spaces where users communicate with one another through text-based messages.But by 2005, those numbers had fallen to 18 percent of teens and 17 percent of adults [source: Pew Internet & American Life Project].Over the years, chat rooms have lost ground to IM and social networks, and have suffered from bad press concerning their safety, especially for teens. And how do you make sure you and your children have a safe, enjoyable chat room experience? They use computers at home, at friends' places, at the library and at school to work, play and communicate.Some have net connectivity on portable devices such as mobile phones.
In 68 per cent of cases the adult sought offline contact with the child.
In the late 1990s, AOL's chat rooms were some of the most popular in the world.
According to statistics from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 55 percent of online teens and 28 percent of online adults used chat rooms in 2000 [source: Pew Internet & American Life Project].
One way is for the police to pretend to be children in online spaces and wait for the predators to come to them.
This paper reflects on the nature of online grooming and the police response.