A #makeITsafePH campaign: Knowing how online dating leads to rape and extortion


  Internet-related crimes on the rise  (photo credit:   www.safeonlinedate.com)

It’s already 2018. The advent of technology has spread far and wide and has reached more people than ever.  

Millions of people all over the world now enjoy the benefits that it provides. However, everything has a dark side to it.

Two of the common Internet-related crimes are rape and extortion. Many cases would also include sextortion.

It is said that majority of the victims have been approached by online predators on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media sites.

These cases happens mostly to women and they take advantage on the fact that they are vulnerable or going through a hard time in their life or married life in particular.

‘The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines sextortion as a form of online blackmail where explicit images are used to extort additional photos, sexual favors, and sometimes money from victims. It can involve hacking into a victim’s computer or “catfishing” — where predators lure unsuspecting/innocent victims into online relationships and coerce them into sharing nude photos or videos.

extortion sextortion

The culprits often secretly record the exchange of videos and photos, then later on threaten that they will make the videos/photos public unless money is paid to them.

Many of these victims are minors which makes it so disheartening.

We now often hear stories here and abroad about the rising number of sextortion cases and it is so alarming to know that this isn’t just “a case of playful consensual sexting,” but rather “a form of sexual exploitation, coercion and violence.”

Another tragic case of internet crime is rape where offenders/molesters meet, develop relationships with, and openly seduce women– both adult and underage teenagers through social media sites online then forcibly assault them sexually or perform hideous pedophilic child-molesting acts.

Sadly, in some countries,  cases of rape of this nature go mostly unreported   because women find it hard to come forward because of shame and fear that they will be the ones blamed.

Naturally, social media applications were created to help us keep in touch with one another. It enables us to communicate with friends, schoolmates, and coworkers with topics like the weather, assignments, and the daily reports. As an addition to this, most websites nowadays are free and intuitive to use which gives people more reasons to use them.

No matter how many benefits a website may provide evildoers will always find ways to spoil something good.  Such is the case with social media. As more and more people are hooked, it is only natural for online predators to increase in number. Someone new to the internet is more likely to fall prey to these people.

Hence, I find it worthwhile to do my share to help by spreading this campaign called #makeITsafePH which urges us to know the possible dangers of social media usage. Internet newbies, especially children, are encouraged to educate themselves to have the ability to discern right from wrong.


Background:   #makeITsafePH campaign

Hootsuite, a US-based social media management platform, has released its “Digital in 2018” report of social media and digital trends around the world.  The report revealed that the Philippines now has 67 million Internet users, with all of them active on social media. This widespread use of the internet gives rise to the emergence of internet-related crimes such as rape, theft,  bullying and piracy which made the public, especially the youth, very vulnerable.

Because of this, Globe Telecom, being a purveyor of digital lifestyle, came out with the #makeITsafePH cybersecurity and cyber-wellness campaign to educate consumers about online threats and what they can do to avoid becoming a victim.  The campaign also teaches the public proper online etiquette so that they would not become a source of such deplorable behavior.