The act of pretending to be a sexually active minor online in order to lure ("bait") pedophiles. The person posing as the minor (the "pedobaiter") will typically pick a name that a child would use, such as "liljess14", and then wait for an adult to start a conversation. The pedobaiter will say explicitly that he or she is underage early in the conversation, usually by giving a fake age, and will then attempt to get the pedophile to sexually solicit him or her. An experienced pedobaiter will have a collection of pictures, a short history of the minor he is pretending to be, or even a fake MySpace profile to support his adopted identity.
If the pedobaiting is successful and the pedophile sexually solicits what he believes to be a minor, the pedobaiter will usually respond with a (false) notice about the FBI monitoring the conversation, the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), etc. The statement usually holds no water, but anyone stupid enough to sexually solicit minors online will usually fall for it.
One example of such a notice is:
"NOTICE TO CHATTER: In accordance with the Terms of Service you have accepted to use this chat client, this conversation has been monitored and recorded by the Child Internet Service Protection Agency, as licensed by the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). You are receiving this notice due to a potential violation of US law. Your IP address has been recorded and sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who will review the chat log and request all available contact information from your Internet Service Provider, and will pursue a criminal investigation if necessary. If you believe this chat session was logged in error, please contact your local FBI office within 24 hours and quote the reference number #2334531-0343.
VIOLATION: Solicitation of a minor for sex.
Sir, I am now legally obligated to inform you that I am an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If you have anything you would like to say, you may do so now. Otherwise, we will obtain your contact information and the address of your residence from your Internet Service Provider and you should expect to hear from us within 48 hours."
The goals of pedobaiting are usually merely personal amusement, though some pedobaiting efforts are coordinated and aim to root out and criminally prosecute pedophiles. Perverted-Justice is an example of one such group.
Pedobaiting became popular as an online hobby or sport during the airing of the Dateline NBC special series called "To Catch a Predator".
For those who involve themselves in pedobaiting for sport or amusement, attaining personal information such as full names, home addresses, and phone numbers is worthy of praise, as is receiving embarassing photographs in which the pedophile is identifiable.
This word is only coincidentally related to the word pedobait, which means "a minor, usually female, who attracts the attention of adults in a sexual capacity," although it is prudent of the pedobaiter to use pictures of minors who are pedobait.
"Hey, John, what are you up to?"
"Oh, I'm just pedobaiting."
"Yeah. I managed to get this pedophile's full name and phone number."
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