Predators Target Children Through Video Games and Social Media
The rise of social media and video games has brought with it many benefits but as time moves forwards the many risks, especially to children, have become more apparent. Concern regarding the vulnerability of young demographics in these spaces is justified. Children are targeted by sexual predators that utilize these platforms and spaces to lure them into exploitative and abusive situations.
There have been many instances where children are harmed by these predators in these settings when steps could have potentially been taken by the owners to minimize the risk of this occurring. These parties can be considered liable when their actions or lack of action lead to their social media platforms needlessly causing children to suffer harm.
If you or your child have suffered at the hands of predators that used social media platforms or video games to exploit and abuse then you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the owner companies. Dolman Law Group is a personal injury law firm recognized for its success in representing product liability lawsuits involving companies that fail to protect their consumers. Our social media harm lawyers are ready to listen to the stories of those who have suffered social media harm and offer experienced legal representation.
Video Game Predators are a Real Risk to Children
Sexual predators are well known for their ability to find their way into any setting involving children whether it’s the Boy Scouts or the Catholic Church and video games are no different. As video games found their way onto the internet and began to allow interaction between different players, many of them began to develop a form of social media within the games themselves.
Many video game platforms and games themselves offer many of the same features provided by social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. You can direct message other players, add them to a friends list, and create a profile for yourself where you can provide certain types of information. All of this creates an environment that can be exploited by predators who can communicate with vulnerable children.
Lawsuit Against Roblox and Discord Over Child Abuse
A case that has highlighted this potential danger is one where a young girl that played the immensely popular video game Roblox was exploited and sexually abused by predators she came into contact with while playing the game. The 13-year-old plaintiff only identified as S.U. in order to protect their privacy, began playing Roblox around the age of 9 when she encountered adult predators that messaged her in the game and coaxed her into joining them on Discord and several other social media platforms they would abuse her through.
For those unfamiliar, Discord is a social media platform with over 150 million monthly users widely used in video game communities to message, voice or video call, and post media or files on communities called servers that often consist of several chat rooms. The abusers were able to convince S.U. to open accounts on Discord, Instagram, and Snapchat despite the fact that she did not meet the minimum age requirement of 13 to open an account on these social media platforms.
The Harm Inflicted in the Roblox and Discord Social Media Lawsuit
The predators then proceeded to push the girl to drink alcohol, take prescription drugs, send them money, and engage in other harmful behaviors with one managing to convince her to send sexually explicit pictures that he would allegedly sell online. The abuse suffered by S.U. because of these online sexual offenders would lead to significant mental trauma and her attempting unsuccessfully to take her own life twice.
The clinical expenses accumulated by her treatment for this mental trauma put her family in over $15,000 of debt. While this debt can eventually be paid off, this girl will have to live with this trauma for the rest of her life which has many people asking what could have been done to avoid this. The family of this abused child believed that Roblox and Discord failed to take proper action when they were aware that there was a real risk to children that utilize their products which is why they elected to file a product liability lawsuit against the companies.
Video Game and Social Media Child Abuse is Widespread
The aforementioned case is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the controversy surrounding multiplayer video games and related social media abuse. A variety of games provide similar opportunities for children to come into contact with sexual predators and be coerced into interacting with them further on other social media platforms.
For years there have been reports of children put in similar situations where they came into contact with predators through multiplayer games, interacted with them on other social media platforms, and consequently were sexually abused. Many of these cases involve what has been dubbed sextortion where child predators will coerce a minor through social media into providing explicit pictures that they then use as leverage to further manipulate them into providing child pornography under the threat of releasing the photos to family and friends.
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Video Game and Social Media Liability for Child Sexual Abuse
Video game and social media companies have an obligation to provide a reasonably safe environment for their products for children that are known to be at risk for abuse at the hands of sexual predators. This is a problem known to many of these companies yet there is not enough done. Sexual predators have free reign to come into contact with children sometimes in disguise as children with little to no barriers.
Video games with chats and other features for interplayer interaction often do not have any kind of or insufficient moderation or screening for grooming and abusive behavior between users. Predators and children have unrestricted access to these platforms and game communities. Inappropriate content continually slips through the cracks and comes into contact with children on these platforms.
Product Liability for Social Media Defective Design That Leads to Child Abuse
Companies like Discord and Roblox Corporation benefit from Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which provides protection from liability for user-generated content and communications. However, plaintiffs harmed by these social media platforms and video games can potentially file lawsuits over their defective design thanks to product liability.
Consumers have rights and more and more evidence is accumulating to prove that social media companies have failed to take appropriate action to protect children from sexual predators on their platforms. Children harmed by these offenders can seek compensation for the damages they have suffered and these companies can be held accountable but this cannot be done alone.
Why Dolman Law Group is Your Best Option for a Social Media Injury Lawyer
Dolman Law Group is an award-winning personal injury firm that can provide you with the legal expertise and resources you will need to effectively file a lawsuit over child abuse caused by social media or video games. When you choose Dolman Law you gain not just a social media harm attorney but a partner invested in the outcome of your case.
While Dolman Law Group is considered a large firm, we take an approach of quality over quantity so that we can provide clients the attention and care their case would get from smaller firms. We have handled product liability cases involving a plethora of companies that are household names and built a reputation of tenacity and diligence that gets you results.
Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Social Media Lawsuit
If your child has suffered abuse at the hands of predators on social media or through video game interaction then you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the companies liable for product defects that led to these crimes. Damages such as medical bills for treatment and pain and suffering are potentially compensable through a product liability lawsuit.
Consider contacting Dolman Law Group about your child’s social media abuse case. Our firm emphasizes contemporary approaches to handling these cases involving modern and still developing issues. Dolman Law Group’s social media harm lawyers can provide you with the experienced and nationally recognized legal representation essential for your lawsuit against these companies. Our firm provides free no obligation consultations so do not hesitate to contact our office at (727)-451-6900 or fill out our website’s contact form.