I'd like to pass the baton, as it were, to a new blog called "Twitter Watcher" at http://twitterwatcher.blogspot.com/
. The best word I can think of to describe pedophiles is "Legion
," because they are indeed many. Therefore, it's not surprising that Twitter is now having problems with users posting child pornography.
It was surprising to see the extent of the recent news coverage about Facebook's problems with child pornography traders. I'm glad that people are concerned about the problem of child pornography, but would like make a few remarks.
First, social networks are attractive to pedophiles and a number of other "problem" users because they simply provide the opportunity to anonymously connect with like-minded people. Many child pornography collectors have obsessive traits. How many news stories have you read about someone getting caught with only a few child pornography images? Generally, it's a matter of hundreds or even thousands. Facebook is one of the biggest players in the social networking arena and it also offers features like image and video sharing and private groups. So it wasn't a matter of if pedophiles would show up on Facebook, it was a matter of when.
Facebook initially seemed to focus on growing and adding new technological features and may not have anticipated that it would also attract child pornography traders until they ended up with quite a few of them. The problem was that by that time, there were millions of accounts. So they had to come up with automated ways of finding users who did not want to be found. Automatically shutting down accounts annoyed the people behind them, but they could always just create new profiles. So many of them did. To make things even more interesting, the problem users came from a number of countries, some of which are a lot more proactive about fighting child pornography than others.
For the most part, the pedophiles trading child pornography on Facebook seemed pretty stupid -- not too far removed from the idiots sharing it on open P2P networks. The ones on Darknet seemed smarter and scarier. I'd challenge the WND writers and anyone else interested in fighting child pornography to investigate that and try to come up with viable solutions.
Below are a couple of recent screencaps. Given Facebook's size and scope, there will probably always be pedophile users. Overall, though, they seem fewer and less blatant than they were a year and a half ago. Facebook's gotten more aggressive about reporting them and kicking them off, and it's possible that the higher default privacy settings have also helped. If it's harder for a cranky blogger to find them, it's probably also harder for child pornography collectors to find each other.
Twitter has also had problems with these people, as have other social networks. For the most part, the people using Facebook to trade child pornography haven't seemed too bright, and a number of them who've lived in countries that would actually do something about it have been arrested. Child pornography is a big problem, and steadily chipping away at it may be the best anyone can do.
Shane Dale Pattison, also known as "Shane Ispedo
," may be headed to prison. Canadian news stories described him as one of the worst child pornography offenders in Saskatchewan history
. Some of his trading buddies
are already locked up.
What do you say about something like this?
Richard Wareham had a number of accounts, including "Nobby Nobson" and "Richard Valentine." He was recently convicted of viewing child pornography
at Paddington Children's Library, where he worked as a librarian. Below is a screencap of a pedophile group on Facebook that included the "Nobby Nobson" account.
According to CTV Calgary
, Clement John Murray was arrested for sharing child pornography via Facebook. I vaguely remember a middle-aged Canadian white guy who went by "Clem Murray" and had some obvious pedos on his friends list. One anonymous source said that he was in a "nepi" group, which apparently involved babies.
Another Canadian, Alexander James Kennedy
, has been arraigned on charges of posting 10 child pornography images to his Facebook page.
In Australia, John Raymond Zimmerman
was sentenced to up to 16 years on charges of manipulating a number of underage girls into sending him explicit photos of themselves.
According to translated news stories, Paolo Ghelardini
was sentenced to 12 years for his extensive collection of child pornography. Although he'd also bragged about sexually assaulting children, it was apparently impossible to prosecute him for that. Nevertheless, he's apparently claiming that 12 years is too harsh and filing an appeal. I wonder if they could reconsider and give him a longer
This guy says, "I made a preteen group before and was blocked by some kind of freak." Gotta love the way that his concept of "freak" apparently means "someone who does not like child pornography."
Here are some screencaps gathered over the past couple of weeks. As you can see, some of the user name choices aren't too subtle.
Facebook's apparently gotten smarter about "PTHC" as an interest, so some users we saw are now listing "Pthc.littlegirls.9" as an interest.
Ray Gould -- presumably as in "R@ygold."