"Sextortion" Via 'Fortnite': How Video Games Can Open Doors for Predators

August 15, 2019Media Mention
The Hollywood Reporter

With 28 percent of all U.S. gamers under the age of 18, platforms like 'Roblox' and 'Minecraft' are taking measures to protect children as online offenders "go where the kids are."

Over the past decade and a half, online predators have shifted their sights numerous times — from message boards to Facebook to Snapchat — as young users hop from one trending social network to another. Their latest hunting ground? Online video games.

Roughly 211 million Americans play video games, according to a 2018 NPD report. Of that group, 28 percent are under 18. "We [used to see] sextortion cases on Facebook because that was the medium children were using," says Greenberg Glusker partner Priya Sopori, who previously worked at the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative, which combats technology-enabled crimes against children. "What we see now is a shift more to video games as the behavioral model changes for children."