NJ Cop Thinks Parents Should Steal Their Kids' Facebook Passwords
Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli recently told NBC New York that all parents should use keystroke-logging spyware to keep tabs on every site their children visit, and every status or photo they post to Facebook. "When it comes down to safety and welfare of your child, I don't think any parent would sacrifice anything to make sure nothing happens to their children," Batelli said. "If it means buying an $80 package of software and putting it on and seeing some inappropriate words you don't want your child to say. Then that's part of society."
Batelli, who has his own teenage daughter to worry about, seems particularly concerned about the sexual predators and creeps that lurk in Facebook's seedier outskirts. "If you sugar-coat it, parents just don't get it," he said. "Read the paper any day of the week and you'll see an abduction [or] a sexual assault that's the result of an Internet interaction or a Facebook comment." Young teens, he says, should be watched even more closely. "I think if a 12-year old has a Facebook profile her mom and dad need to have access to it," Batelli opined.
Family psychologist Dr. Jerry Kassinove agrees that parents should use cyber-nanny software to block certain sites from their children, but he thinks that spyware could spawn serious problems in a household. "It sort of sets up a situation of distrust," Kassinove explained. "First of all, you're encouraging your child that it's okay to lie because you're lying yourself and you're conducting some secret action and they're not aware of it."
According to Batelli, though, safety should always trump trust. "Trust sounds good. It's a good cliché," says Batelli. "[But] to stick your head in the sand and think that, in 9th, 10th, 8th grade, your child is not going to be exposed to alcohol, is not going to be exposed to drugs is kind of a naïve way to go about it."
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