If you haven't heard about the bill to ban sex offenders from online services and gaming networks, be sure to check it out at Alternet. If you don't think that Congress is moving fast enough to make things happen, there are some lofty citizens who have taken it upon themselves to do the right thing...sort of.
Going by the name of ExposeNiggas, a YouTube user armed with a recorder and his PlayStation 3 has become a viral sensation exposing potential child predators and underage solicitors by posing as a young girl.
A few of this chap's videos were featured on The Main Event, where people debated on whether what ExposeNiggas is doing could be deemed ethical, and more importantly if his use of language makes him better or worse than the guys he's busting.
Aside from his over-the-top antics, I have to say that his videos are highly amusing, somewhat informative and definitely entertaining. What's more, though, is that you at least have to stand up and give this guy a hand for a few of the pervs he catches in the act. In one particular case he encounters a 44 year old who was attempting to cajole a 17 year old into performing sexual acts for him. Hmmm.
Whether you agree with his methods or not it does seem to be somewhat effective. The real interesting part about it is that supposedly there haven't been any arrest made based on the videos. A lot of YouTube users express disgust at the individuals "caught in the act" but it takes a little bit more than disgust to make things happen.
There's also another version of this very same thing from ABC with Chris Hansen conveniently called "To Catch A Predator", however it's far less entertaining but definitely informative.
More than anything I think it's a wake-up call for parents to be just as vigilant with gaming devices and consoles just the same as with PCs or dealing with strangers in public. Young kids are vulnerable regardless and if you think they're safe on Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network because it's attached to a home console, don't underestimate the kind of people who will try to affect them one way or another. And as the videos showcase on ExposeNiggas' channel, a lot of these guys aim to prey on younger gamers.