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A really tragic story today, of the loss of a 14-year-old boy, murdered by an evil person he thought was an "online friend."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10649667/City-traders-son-stabbed-to-death-after-meeting-man-online.html

I feel so sad for his parents, family and friends. But also for the people who work in social businesses online, who merely provide communication platforms, enjoyed by billions and abused by a minority. Reflecting on this awful story today, two tech stories I read last week have sprung to mind.

The 1st is about Facebook's ability to determine with the magic of big data, how predictive some behaviours are of lasting love or heartbreak city.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/14/facebook-love-data/

The 2nd is one, which reports that Canadian researchers confirm that Internet Trolls are sadists.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/online-trolls-are-psychopaths-and-sadists-psychologists-claim-9134396.html

Perhaps social businesses could work with these researchers and consider if it is possible to mine their data to provide early warnings of danger.

A real long shot, but worth considering to find ways to protect the vulnerable.

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