A third of child pornographers are ... children?!

Child abuse images online are increasingly being generated by kids themselves, in a heartbreaking bid for “likes.”

Research by the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation found fully a third of graphic images of children are the result of kids photographing and filming themselves to gain attention from online viewers. 

And the biggest proportion of such images is coming from young girls aged 11 to 13.

According to a report in The Independent, much of the footage is taken in children’s bedrooms. In one case, a video is interrupted by a parent calling the child to come down for dinner.

The research found 132,700 web pages showing children being sexually abused - 80% featuring girls. That equates to millions of images, an increasing proportion of which are self-generated by children themselves.

In one case, a video is interrupted by a parent calling the child to come down for dinner.

“Often the girls are looking at the camera, on sites where they’re reading instructions and doing things for likes,” says IWF chief executive Susie Hargreaves OBE.

“You can see them looking into a screen and saying ‘I won’t do that unless I get 1,000 likes.’”

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The requests children are responding to may be from one or several users, depending on the platform. But in any case, the images generated are being widely shared through paedophile networks.

“You can see them looking into a screen and saying ‘I won’t do that unless I get 1,000 likes.’”

The message to parents

Says Hargreaves, “My message to anyone is if a child is in their bedroom and on their own, and they have a camera and internet access, they need to have appropriate parental supervision.

“Just because they’re in their bedroom doesn’t mean they’re not being groomed.”

In fact, the bedroom is the place kids are most likely to encounter an online predator, warns Family Zone cyber expert and former undercover detective Brett Lee, director of Internet Safe Education.

“The first question a child will be asked by a predator is ‘Are you alone?’ From a groomer’s perspective, a child who is online behind closed doors in their bedroom is the perfect target.”




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Topics: Parental Controls, Screen time, Mobile Apps, online safety, child pornography, paedophile, child exploitation, child predator

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