Sorry I missed this earlier.
I am still not sure how I feel about pedophile baiting by amateurs in general, aside from the picture aspect. It seems to have several pros and cons.
NOTE I’m going to keep using the word ‘pedophiles’ to refer to adults who want sex with young girls, even though most of the baiters are not pretending to be pre-pubescent and it’s not quite clinically accurate.
Every minute one of these guys is chatting with a fake 13 year old is a minute he’s not chatting with a real one.
Some guys are probably scared away from actually meeting a child they chat to after being ‘busted’ by amateur baiters.
Sites like these publicize how common internet pedophiles, and may make some people more cautious. This kind of stuff is terrifyingly common, back when my AIM profile said I was a 13 year old female I would get dozens of IMs from strangers a night, most of them wanting to talk about sex, most of them 18 or over. If a site like this convinces their parents to restrict their children’s internet use, it may do some good.
Sites like this may educate children as to the tactics of these guys, and make them less likely to get involved in conversation with them.
Every minute one of these guys is chatting with an amateur baiter is a minute he’s not chatting with an actual police officer who could actually put them in jail.
These pranks they play on the guys may make them more cautious and less likely to get caught - ‘Ha ha, we had him drive by the police station!’ - the pedophile may get a big enough scare that he learns not to give out real information about himself, to double-check information given to them by girls, and to take more steps to make sure they are actually talking to a real girl. This may be making these guys more effective predators, and probably makes them harder to get caught by the police.
On the forums they try to find out as much personal information as possible about the people they bait, and provide names, addresses, phone numbers, and other contact information about the person they bait - AND suspected family members, local churches and businesses, etc. Not only does this encourage vigilantism, I saw a thread where they were doing this to a person that many people on the board suspected was lying about being an adult. What if your teenage kid chats up some 14 year old, says he’s 18 to impress her, and gives her his phone number - and next thing you know everybody with the same last name in your town are getting phone calls and emails from random strangers telling them a pedophile lives there?
A couple of guys on the board seem to be real psychos themselves. Several have given me the impression that they may be pedophiles themselves. One has posted repeatedly about a 14 year old that’s a real good friend whose parents don’t want her talking with them.
I also worry that by indulging their fantasies they may be making them worse, even if they give them a scare at the end. I find it hard to believe that there would be that many 13 year old girls who would be willing to talk about sex with a stranger within minutes of meeting them online, but these baiters will. Just read through some of the logs.
Anyway, that’s what I think about what they are doing. There is another kind of baiting that I have read about some groups doing which I don’t see any problem with - they pretend to be young girls, but they avoid talking about anything sexual, and don’t try to scare or report the pedophiles - they just try to waste their time by keeping them talking with fake teens as much as possible. It’s probably not fun to turn down the advances of some horny guy for hours on end, but it’s for a good cause.
All this is aside from the use of pictures of real girls. Yes, I would have problems with it even if they were given permission to use the pictures for that purpose. I’m not sure why exactly, but it gives me a creepy feeling.