Internet Web sites have become the meeting places for a huge portion of society ranging from youngsters chatting with friends to senior citizens sharing the plights and delights of old age. With the ease of electronic gatherings has come the specter of using those anonymous online contacts for darker purposes.
MySpace.com and Facebook.com, two of the biggest of the online social-networking sites, have joined authorities around the nation in looking for ways to provide more protection to users from would-be predators.
In the case of children, the best protection would seem to be parents, even though even strict monitoring does not always guarantee that a child won't become a target. Without parental involvement, however, the likelihood for unwanted results increases substantially.
Parents who won't let their children go to unfamiliar places to meet unknown individuals should impose similar restrictions on online visits to sites where other participants may be other children looking for fun -- or looking for something far more sinister.