Monday, January 24, 2011

Pervert Alert

Once again I found myself disappointed by a news story which promised much, but that ultimately failed to deliver. Any headline promising a story about a new iPhone app which can spot paedophiles - a sort of 'Pervert Alert' - is going to pique my interest. On the basis of the headline, I had visions of an application which allows the user to surreptitiously take a photo of anyone they think might be a nonce, and check this picture against some dodgy internet database of alleged paedos. Or, even better, compares their facial features against a set of attributes which have been 'scientifically proven' to be those most commonly found in child molesters - eyebrows meet in the middle, low slung ears, big nose - in order to 'prove' that they are a kiddie fiddler. If it makes a match, then a 'paedo alert' siren is emitted by the phone - which also flashes - and the alleged paedo's photo is flashed across all forms of social media in order to alert parents to the potential danger they pose.

Sadly, it turned out that all the app does is supposedly analyse language on message boards and social networking sites, in order to identify adults posing as children. Rather than a paedo-spotting app, it is actually an anti-grooming app. I think I liked my idea better. Actually, I've had some other ideas for smart phone applications. For instance, how about one that allows any parliamentary lobbyist in Westminster to immediately find the location of the nearest corrupt MP? Even better, what about an app which lets you find the nearest prostitute, massage parlour or spanking bar? Getting back to the paedo alert app, a disturbing thought has occurred to me - what if the nonces set up their own app? It's amazing how sinister smart phones suddenly become when you suspect that the user might be a kiddie fiddler using an app to find the nearest paedophile ring. Perhaps that's how you can identify the paedos?

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