What’s that old line about “who’s watching the watchers?”? America Online (AOL) actually pays people to watch over their chat rooms, to make sure that nothing untoward happens to any of the underaged who like to hang out in the chat rooms and..you know..chat. This is all part of AOL’s efforts to offer a safe online environment for children and teenagers.
But perhaps along with hiring people to monitor the chatters, AOL needs to hire monitors to monitor the monitors. Sort of meta-monitors, if you will.
Because, you see, a couple of years ago one of the chatter monitors became a chatter chatter. And he didn’t just chat with his chatter – he spoke with her on the phone. Explicitly. Very explicitly.
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It all started when the young lady in question was 15 years old. Then they made plans to meet on her seventeenth birthday.
In fact, the only thing which kept the meeting from happening – a meeting during which the young lady would be, while newly 17, still very much a minor (seventeen will get you twenty) – was that in fact another monitor did end up monitoring the monitor, when they became aware of the planned tryst, and blew the whistle.
Now, two years later, of course, comes the inevitable lawsuit. Why did they wait two years? According to her attorney, it is because it was “a very confusing and painful time for her”.
Of course, he was telling this to the Los Angeles Times, so apparently she’s gotten over her pain and confusion enough to not only file a lawsuit, but to have it discussed in major press.
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