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Predator Peek Gamers Little Through Minecraft and Fortnite

Predators find their prey in online games played by young players.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, LOS ANGELES – Predators in cyberspace always change patterns to find their prey. Once they sniffed potential victims through social media Facebook Snapchat, now criminals are touching online games that many children play.

Technology companies compete to renew policies, seeking to improve the security of their users. For example, YouTube recently updated to address concerns about child abuse.

In the United States, 28 percent of players are under 18 years old. Platforms like Roblox and Minecraft are also taking steps to protect children from predators who are trying to blend in with these online games.

Game studios and other online gaming companies have also begun to increase security by trying to keep their young players safe. What's more, they've been doing it aggressively lately sextortion through online games.

"I see growth sextortion through online games. That's how you see it, a criminal attacking children will definitely go to a place for children, "said Shannon Martucci as an investigative expert of children and adolescents who work with FBI agents in the fight against online predators, quoted from The Hollywood Reporter.

Sextortion is a term used to describe the form of coercion against couples who do not want to commit sexual acts, especially on the Internet. One of the common predator maneuvers is to offer payment for the desired character costume or accessory that a small player needs. This method is known as peel.

To solve this problem, game companies often set limits. The only chat feature in Roblox that does not allow users to share personal data such as phone numbers or addresses.

"We have a team of over 800 human moderators around the world with artificial intelligence (Artificial intelligence) and machine learning to constantly solve such problems, "said digital company vice president Tami Bhaumik.

However, it appears that several sites have used other platforms to complete the transaction. This is a case study sextortion on Facebook and other social media.

"We (we have once seen) cases sextortion on Facebook because that's what children use. "What we are seeing now is more of a transition to video games in line with the changing patterns of child behavior," said Greenberg partner Glusker Priya Sopori, who had previously worked on the Safe Childhood Project of the US Department of Justice.

Last September was the biggest sting ever to do with online games. A multi-person secret investigation called Operation Open House arrested 24 people in New Jersey, USA for allegedly using Fortnite and Minecraft games to lure minors for sexual purposes.

Such platforms, according to FBI special agent Kevin Kaufman, facilitated such crimes. Online predators have the option of being more child-oriented.

Kaufman said the process was through the media in which predators lured minors, using the same tactics repeatedly. "They use everything they learn from the first victim to go to the next victim," he said.

Meanwhile, Xbox and PlayStation in the US require online accounts so that players under the age of 18 are controlled by adult accounts. This method is expected to set limits on what children can do and say on the Internet.

But at parents ’discretion, players may interact with all other ages to set such limits. In response to these concerns, Microsoft said they have a dedicated security team that runs on Xbox Live 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The team reviews flagged content as soon as possible and coordinates law enforcement activities when needed.

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