• By Bill O'Reilly

    Whether we know it or not all of us are being influenced by the net. The machines have changed everything in our lives; 245 million Americans three quarters of the population now have access to the net. Worldwide 2.4 billion people have net capability, a third of the world's population.

    And as you know, if you use the Internet, there is a tremendous evil available at your finger tips. Pedophilia, drug dealing, violence, sadism, even rape. All can be accessed on sick Internet sites. Children barraged with unhealthy images, addictive games some of them explicitly violent. Chat rooms can promote discourse that is so crude and malevolent, it is beyond the pale.

    In addition, millions of people are now developing emotional relationships over the net with strangers. People they never even meet in person. And that can lead to disaster. Enter 21-year-old Manti Te'o, captain of the Notre Dame football team and the likely first round draft choice in the National Football League.

    Last October he told the world that his grandmother and his girlfriend he met on the net both died in the same week.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    TE'O: I just lost everything. And I cried, I yelled. I never felt that way before. And this is six hours ago. I just found out my grandma passed away and you take, you know, the love of my life. Last thing she said to me was I love you. And that was it.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    O'REILLY: Now the nation sympathized with Manti Te'o. He became even more famous in this country and fame can lead to endorsements.

    But there is one problem here. And it's a big problem. There was no girlfriend. She never even existed. Te'o and Notre Dame claim he is the victim of an Internet fraud called "catfishing." That is when a person develops a romantic relationship with another person using fake credentials.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    JACK SWARBRICK, ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, NOTRE DAME: This was a very elaborate, very sophisticated hoax perpetrated for reasons we can't fully understand but had a certain cruel -- cruelty at its core based on the exchanges that we were able to see between some of the people who perpetrated it. Manti was the victim of that hoax. Manti is the victim of that hoax.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    O'REILLY: Now, that's hard to believe. If the love of your life dies, you go to the funeral, right? Don't you go to the funeral? So once again, the Internet at the center of a national controversy and that should be a cautionary tale for all of us. Do not -- do not allow the machines to take control of your life. Don't do that. Evil operates best when it is hidden. The net is a great place to hide.

    And that's "The Memo."

    - You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com.