UAE warning: Electronic game chat exposes teenage girls to risks of blackmail

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

Social specialists have highlighted the dangers facing young girls who engage in electronic game chats. These virtual interactions often lead them to reveal personal information, making them vulnerable to blackmail, electronic harassment, and fraudulent activities. These issues leave lasting psychological impacts that are hard to mitigate.

Dangers of Electronic Game Chats for Young Girls

Family advisor Dr. Hiam Abu Mishal pointed out that electronic games and social media platforms create virtual spaces for interaction and information exchange, which can expose teenage girls to significant risks. She explained that blackmail often occurs when players deceive girls into sharing personal information about themselves or their families. The situation worsens when the girls are coerced into sharing private photos, which can then be used for blackmail.

Dr. Abu Mishal emphasized the importance of maintaining a healthy skepticism in virtual interactions and warned against overindulgence in electronic games. She noted that excessive confidence in these online spaces can lead to social isolation and negatively impact real-world relationships, thus harming girls' psychological health. She shared examples of girls who had been exploited and blackmailed through social media, highlighting the need for vigilance.

Examples and consequences

Abu Mishal shared various examples of how excessive trust in electronic games can lead to severe problems. One case involved a girl who was blackmailed with threats of publicizing her personal photos unless she sent more pictures, paid more money, or complied with specific demands. Such scenarios often lead to emotional manipulation and blackmail, causing significant psychological distress.

She also mentioned instances of cyberbullying, where girls have faced harassment through social media, including negative comments, threats, and continuous mockery. This constant bullying severely affects their mental health. Additionally, there have been cases of financial fraud where girls were manipulated to reveal financial details or credit card information, leading to monetary losses.

To combat these issues, Abu Mishal stressed the importance of educating girls about the dangers of sharing personal information online and the need to report any harassment or exploitation to trusted adults. She highlighted the role of parents in monitoring their children's online activities and teaching them how to maintain privacy and security. Parents, teachers, and community specialists should work together to raise awareness about the risks associated with electronic games and social media.

Parental Involvement and Preventive Measures

Maryam Al-Qaseer, a member of the Board of Directors of the Social Association, discussed how parental preoccupation with work and family pressures often leaves children turning to electronic games for solace. This reliance on games can lead to depression and behavioral issues among children.

Al-Qaseer noted the additional risks of using electronic games for dating and forming social friendships, especially when interacting with anonymous individuals. She explained how harassers gradually gain girls' trust, eventually leading them to share personal photos, which are then used for blackmail. She recounted real cases where young girls were blackmailed, emphasizing the need for families and authorities to intervene to address such crimes.

Dr. Maryam Qaddouri, head of the Department of Sociology at City University in Ajman, highlighted that electronic games have evolved significantly. Unlike earlier games where players competed against a computer, modern games allow interaction with players from different cultures and religions, facilitating private communication through text and voice messages. This evolution increases the risk of exploitation and blackmail.

Al-Qaseer stressed the importance of open dialogue between parents and children about safe internet use. Parents should foster strong relationships with their children, guiding them to make safe choices online. She warned girls against forming relationships with strangers in electronic games, advising them to limit interactions to gameplay to avoid social and psychological risks.

The experts unanimously agree that awareness, education, and open communication are crucial in protecting young girls from the dangers of electronic game chats.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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