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The Rise Of Social Media Gives Rise To Social Media Predators

According to BuzzFeed, it has obtained a warrant suggesting that the YouTube channel owner of SevenAwesomeKids, Ian Rylett, has been arrested during a video shoot with one of the girls who appear on his channel.

Orange County, Florida officials confirm that Rylett was arrested on August 17 for "lewd and lascivious battery." He pled not guilty to the charges.

Presently, the channel remains online but no videos have been posted since the arrest.

According to a statement made by YouTube, it takes safety on its site very seriously. YouTube states further that they work closely with child safety organizations "to protect young people." When YouTube is made aware of this type of allegations, it takes action. This may include "suspending monetization, or, upon conclusion of an investigation, terminating channels."

Rylett's channel had been demonetized which means that ad revenue it generates has been shifted to other channels with similar content.

Rylett co-founded SevenAwesomeKids which now has 178 million subscribers over its seven channels. Each channel features daily videos from more than 20 girls with ages ranging from eight to 18. Rylett directs the filming of the videos and pays the girls a monthly salary. "YouTube channel owner 'arrested over child sex abuse'" https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45639446 (Sep. 25, 2018),


Commentary and Checklist

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has rules for the employment of children that address age, hours, and types of jobs. Whether these girls were legally or illegally employed, Rylett has been accused of molesting the girls.

Child actors are vulnerable to predators. Victims are typically groomed by the predator with jobs, gifts, alcohol, drugs, and promises of making them popular and famous. The victims end up trusting these perpetrators completely. In many cases, even the parents and other family members trust the sex offender as well.  

What are the signs of grooming by a predator?

  • Spending an inordinate amount of time with the family and the child;
  • Showing an unusual interest in the child, while ignoring other children, such as making frequent inquiries about, or having an unusual interest in, the child's activities;
  • Giving gifts or money to the child without a parent's consent;
  • Seeking to be alone with the child, frequently offering to babysit;
  • Seeking to take the child on trips away from the parent;
  • Behaving in a childlike manner;
  • Allowing the child to ignore or bend the parent's rules when the child is with the abuser;
  • Contradicting or demeaning the child's parents to the child;
  • Taking pictures of children who are not their own;
  • Offering alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, or pornography to the child.
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