As Canadian children are “wired” an average of seven hours a day on laptops, tablets, and cell phones, there are an estimated 750,000 predators online worldwide right now, lurking, “liking”, and learning the online activities of underaged users. Premiering this Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO, W5 senior reporter Sandie Rinaldo delivers “PREDATOR’S PLAYGROUND”, a timely examination of the exploding problem of luring and exploiting children online through various social media platforms – an ideal environment for predators and malicious individuals to anonymously harm kids. This latest episode follows onW5’s momentum over the past two weeks of owning Saturday night as the most-watched non-sports program on any network, conventional or specialty, attracting more than 900,000 viewers on CTV and CTV Two.
“PREDATOR’S PLAYGROUND” tells the story of Eric from Whitby, Ontario. At age 12 he was targeted online by who he believed to be a cute, blonde, 14-year-old girl named Ashley Matthews. Prompted by the suspicions of the boy’s mother, an ensuing police investigation revealed “Ashley” to be a 38-year-old local teacher. It was a stunning betrayal of trust for Eric, the community, and dozens of other victims of the male teacher’s online luring – some of whom he had convinced to strip and perform sex acts on their webcams. At the predator’s home, police found 18 external computer hard drives loaded with child pornography including 9,500 pictures and 2,000 movies.
Viewers are then introduced to Carol Todd, whose daughter Amanda’s suicide is one of Canada’s most high profile and tragic cases of online child luring and exploitation. W5 also speaks with Sandy Garossino, one of the founders of The Red Hood Project, an advocacy group demanding social media companies create safeguards to prevent malicious individuals from luring and harming children. Garossino demonstrates how easy it is for an online stalker to use social media platforms such as Instagram, Omegle, Kik, and Facebook to lure and exploit potential victims.
W5 also airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV Two, and can be seen on Investigation Discovery on Tuesdays at 11 p.m. ET, and Wednesdays12 noon ET; on demand at CTVNews.ca/W5; the CTV GO App, theCTV Mobile channel on Bell Mobile TV, and through video on demand partners, such as Bell Fibe TV (visit CTV.ca for local listings). W5 is also simulcast in Toronto on CFRB NEWSTALK1010.
Source: BBM Canada