February 2, 2006

In conjunction with "Dateline's" "To Catch a Predator III," the third investigation exposing a national epidemic: men who target young teenagers online, MSNBC.com has dedicated a special section on www.Dateline.MSNBC.com to the series.  On it, viewers can find videos, footage not seen on the air including extended confrontations with the predators, articles with additional information and resources and follow-ups for parents. Live during the broadcast, "Dateline" Correspondent Chris Hansen will blog on the site, offering a behind-the-scenes look into the investigation, anecdotes and answers to viewer questions.  In addition, in their second online-only advertising buy, NBC News has placed ads for the series on a large number of blog sites.  The ads encourage readers to visit MSNBC.com for additional information about the series and a dialogue has started among bloggers in support of “Dateline's” effort to expose this epidemic. 

Articles by MSNBC.com's online security expert, Bob Sullivan, focus on "Kids, blogs and too much information," the growing problem of kids’ divulging too much information about themselves on the Internet. Sullivan, a frequent contributor to MSNBC and NBC News reports and the author of the identity theft book "Your Evil Twin," also writes an MSNBC.com blog called the "Red Tape Chronicles" (www.RedTape.MSNBC.com), which exposes Internet scams and consumer fraud. In light of these predator reports, he will dedicate a Red Tape entry to why parents too often ignore the experts' advice when it comes to protecting their kids online. In addition, coordinating with a child psychologist, Sullivan will provide an online lesson plan and discussion guide for parents and teachers to use when talking to kids after the show.

As a starting point to keep kids safe online, MSNBC.com has posted an Internet safety contract.  With pledges for both parents and kids, this contract encourages families to discuss Internet safety, and agree to abide by these rules when using the Internet. Also available on the site are a number of resources for parents including tips to keep kids and teenagers of different ages safe online, links to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, including their "cyber tip line" and a link to the national sex offender registry.  Video, blog entries and full reports from this and previous predator reports are also available at www.Dateline.MSNBC.com.

Almost two years ago "Dateline NBC" aired the first in this series of predator reports. In two different investigations in two different states, dozens of men showed up at undercover houses after chatting about sex online and then making a date. On Friday, Feb. 3 (9:00 - 11:00 PM, ET), Chris Hansen reports in his third investigation, and this time around police arrest potential predators caught on camera.

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