Re: Scout Names on Websites?
golden cliff (c60clg1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Fri, 25 Oct 1996 12:43:31 -0500
I agree that we need to exercize some measure of caution when publishing
information to the internet, but it is important to keep things in
perspective and not overreact.
Any child on a sports team will have information available through sports
rosters and team schedules, they are often available to the public.
Anyone can know who they are and where they'll be. For decades that
information has been available. If you know the name of a child, it's
fairly easy to get an address, you can figure out which school, and
intercept a child or stalk a child. You don't need the internet for that.
Preditors exist. The internet didn't create them. The internet is only a
tool, it can be used for good or bad as with any tool. I agree it is
important to understand the risk associated with any activity, including
the internet. Each individual has to weigh those risks and make their own
I personally don't publish last names of boys on our web page, not because
I'm afraid of pedophiles tracking down the boys, but because there is no
immediate need to publish that information, whether it's Johnny Smith or
Johnny S. doesn't really affect the presentation. If the boys wanted
their full names published, and their parents didn't object, we would do it.
When a boy makes Eagle we try to get him publicity in the local paper.
We use his full name and a photo if possible. I'm sure pedophiles read
the newspaper too. They may even read Boys Life which uses photos and
Our webmaster is a 17 year old boy over six feet tall. He publishes his
own home page as well as the troop's and has his e-mail address published
as well. That is his choice and his family understands the facts and
agrees to let him do it.
I think we need to excersize common sense and not overreact.
Tim, you made such a case for knowing where Kim lived, etc., all the while
referring to "her". Kim was a man. The internet didn't tell you that.
Gender is probably a major concern of most pedophiles.
My point is that the internet takes information that is generally known
through other sources and acts as an additional provider. In many cases
it doesn't present additional information as much as it just presents
existing information in a more accessable electronic format.
I work at a major university library. I access information as part of my
job. I sometimes get tired of people painting horns and tails on the
internet. It is technology. It speeds the transmission of information.
We need to keep things in perspective.
I agree we need to protect our children, but not at the risk of
terrorizing them or creating a fear of new technology. Learn the risks,
assess the risks, be mindful of them, then go forth and seek knowledge and
Scoutmaster Troop 33; DeKalb, Illinois
Three Fires Council BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City