Gangs on the social Web

Teen gang members use social-networking sites as much as other teenagers. What social networkers and their parents might want to be aware of is how gangs recruit new members online and off. Johnny Vance, a probation officer in Ohio, told the Dayton Daily News the "5 Hs" that tend to make kids most vulnerable to gang overtures: when they're "helpless," "hopeless," "hungry," "homeless," and "hugless." Just like youth who are at high risk for sexual exploitation, "it's a breakdown in communication within the family that leads to youngsters getting into the gang life," according to the Daily News (see also "Profile of a teen online victim"). Check out the article for what's being done to protect vulnerable youth in the Dayton area. [Thanks to Nancy Willard at the Center for Safe & Responsible Internet Use for pointing this piece out.]

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