After a five-month investigation in which we created our own Facebook avatar in order to infiltrate the world of pedophiles and child-abusers using Facebook, we uncovered an enormous, thriving online community of human trafficking, prostitution, child pornography, and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation.
“Marcos Teia’s” profile, which uses Spiderman as a profile photo and has a Brazilian email address, has over 200 friends – at least, this week he does. That’s because Marcos disappears every so often. One day he is on Facebook with hundreds of friends – whose profiles also exhibit sexually explicit photographs of children and adults on the social networking site – and the next day he is gone. A few days later he’s back, eager to confirm friend requests from anyone.
While we have reported “Marcos” several times – which may explain why he vanishes so often – he always returns with the same name, profile photo, birthday, email address and, worst of all, sexually explicit photographs of children in his “Model Kids” collection. The obvious question is to Facebook: If this one profile continues this activity, why not remove it permanently? And if the abuse is ongoing, why not report it to the FBI?
We didn’t wait for Facebook. Having reported “Marcos” to the FBI, individual state law enforcement, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Facebook itself, the Stop Child Porn on Facebook Campaign - along with a small but growing group of web citizens – is now monitoring and documenting the activities of those posting images of and links to children, some only toddlers, engaged in sex acts with adult males and females.
The captions to some of these photos – which are illegal to possess even as digital files – tell the story of the horrible and twisted pride these abusers exhibit when boasting about the images they post on Facebook. “Barbara my model!” says one profile under the photo of a nude child. “She began sex at only 4 years! Now she is 17, a real slut nymphomaniac!” Another says, “She is one of my best lilmodels! Now she is 10 yo, but she began to do sex since 2 ys!”
Of course, few of these offenders use their real names for the Facebook profiles they create. However, criminal justice authorities and Facebook have the ability to track them down. “Some people who had used the screen names ‘Stephanie Stewart,’ ‘Lisa King,’ ‘Jenna Foltz,’ ‘Amy Farmer,’ ‘Buffy Tanner,’ ‘Katy Ellis,’ ‘Katy Cat,’ and ‘Katy Kat’ were recently indicted for using Facebook groups to share child pornography,” writes the “Watching Facebook” blogger, an excellent and dedicated investigator into child pornography on Facebook. “The indictment also refers to a ‘Jodie Green’ account. How many of these defendants are female? None. The American defendants are James Paul Byrd, David Large, Brian Slott, Daniel Slott, and Henry Wright. In fact, Brian and Daniel Slott are registered sex offenders in Wisconsin. ”Jodie Green” was actually Ian Green, a British sex offender who has already been sentenced to prison for his role in the groups.
Through this case it is obvious that law enforcement can do something about child pornography on Facebook when it focuses its time and resources on the problem. This was also the case in New York where Gene Wasneechak was arrested for possessing child pornography following a police investigation into his Facebook postings. They began investigating Wasneechak after he began several Facebook relationships with underage girls who are especially vulnerable to these solicitations.
“It’s not hard to guess how these people found the photos of adolescents and young women that they used in their profile photos,” writes the “Watching Facebook” blogger. “We’ve also seen these people solicit nude photos from girls they believe to be underage. If they got one, they would almost certainly trade it with other like-minded people. Child pornography is a largely a barter-based economy, and images that had not previously been circulated would be valuable currency.”
The currency here is children being used for sex. The market in which they trade is Facebook – a virtual community most of us visit every day. Yet, in the back alleys of this new village square crimes are being committed against children; nightmarish crimes most find hard to believe. Yet they continue to be perpetrated by a growing number of criminals who – except for a few isolated cases – go undisturbed in the practice of their giddy perversions and violence.
Stop Child Porn On Facebook - A MenAPAT Campaign
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