Evidence: How Pedophiles Operate on Facebook

We do not intend to offend you nor do we want to re-victimize these children. However, we must continue to exhibit the evidence in order to motivate those who care enough to take real action. From elected officials, to law enforcement professionals, the reaction to this evidence is universal: ”This is on Facebook?” they ask, shocked at every image. Yes, it is. And the evidence is undeniable.

Not only is it “on” Facebook, but there are thousands of Facebook “Profiles” with thousands of images and videos that are no more than a few clicks away for ANY Facebook visitor.

We will not tolerate this abuse. Along with viewing our detailed video explaining the issue, please read and share the evidence below. Then “subscribe” for updates.

Lydia Cacho Takes on Facebook

Facebook Observer : November 14, 2011 6:45 am : child pornography, Examiner.com, Facebook response

Last month, the Daily Beast ran an article about Facebook taking heat from activist Lydia Cacho about the sexual predators.  It’s not too surprising that their perspectives differed.

Perhaps we can shed some light on the issue.  First, let’s start with something that both the Facebook safety team and Cacho would probably agree on:  most people strongly dislike child pornography.  However, many of the pedophiles who collect the stuff are apparently somewhat compulsive about it.  When they get busted, they generally don’t just have a handful of images; it’s more like hundreds or even thousands.  
The internet makes it a lot easier for pedophiles to exchange material with like-minded people.  Peer-to-peer software has often been used for this, but it’s not too hard for law enforcement to automatically scan for known child pornography files on P2P systems and pick off the idiot who’s sharing it.  Social networks allow pedophiles to look for validation and acceptance as well as trading partners, so it’s not too surprising that they’ve shown up on Facebook, Grou.ps, Grouply, MySpace, Google+, etc.
Facebook is currently the biggest player in the social network arena, with over 500 million accounts.  They’ve made an effort to curb predators by scanning for known child pornography and certain kinds of anomalous behavior.  But it’s very hard to detect some things automatically, and it’s impossible for them to do it manually.  Therein lies the rub.
Joe Sullivan, Facebook’s security chief, used an example of an account that sent all its friend requests to teenage girls.  However, predators may also be looking to connect with other pedophiles.  He also pointed out that Facebook is using PhotoDNA to scan photos.  PhotoDNA is basically an improved approach to detecting known child pornography.  Earlier this year, a man in the UK took photos of himself sexually abusing his 2-year-old daughter and uploaded them to Facebook so that other like-minded users could view them.  PhotoDNA would not have been able to flag this because the image would not have been in its database.  So it’s commendable of Facebook to make the effort to use this technology, but it’s still no silver bullet.

Because of the sheer volume, a lot of the Facebook account shutdowns are done automatically, with no human intervention.  In the example Sullivan provided, the system might notice that a lot of friend requests are being sent to teenage girls and disable the account.  However, if an account that tripped off some flags and got automatically shut down was also posting child pornography that PhotoDNA did not detect, no human would see it and it would consequently not get reported to law enforcement.  It’s possible that the failure to report some of this material is related to this, rather than willfully ignoring the law.

If Facebook continues to work on combating predators, it may encourage many of them to relocate to a different social network.  But that’s probably about as good as it’s going to get.

Paolo Ghelardini Gets 12 Years

Facebook Observer : November 14, 2011 6:10 am : arrests, child pornography, Examiner.com, pedophilia

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 sentence?

Preteen Girls

Facebook Observer : September 15, 2011 8:36 am : child pornography, Examiner.com, pedophilia

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.”

Wordsmiths

Facebook Observer : September 12, 2011 8:49 am : child pornography, Examiner.com, pedophilia

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.”

Young Girls

Facebook Observer : August 8, 2011 7:26 am : child pornography, Examiner.com, pedophilia

Here’s yet another closed group.  Given that one of the members had what appeared to be child pornography posted to an open wall, I suspect it may not be a Bible study group.  Just a guess.

Paolo Ghelardini Indicted

Facebook Observer : August 3, 2011 9:00 am : arrests, child pornography, Examiner.com, pedophilia

Paolo Ghelardini, who was arrested this spring, has been formally indicted in Romania.  According to news accounts, he had over 9500 child pornography images and 1000 videos.  At this point, he has not been charged with production.

He allegedly had 19 different Facebook accounts, and was apparently active between January 2010 and May 2011.

He had also used the alias “Paul Grechiadan” among others.

Cascade-O-Crap

Facebook Observer : August 3, 2011 7:59 am : child pornography, Examiner.com, pedophilia

Facebook’s apparently gotten smarter about certain keywords, such as “PTHC.”  So some users came up with a new interest called “pthc.incest.young schoolgirls 10.11.12.daddys littlegirl.”  It’s like a cascade of crap.

Robin Pagoria and Money

Facebook Observer : August 1, 2011 9:21 am : child pornography, Examiner.com, pedophilia, Robin Pagoria, sadomasochism

According to court documents, Robin Pagoria filed for bankruptcy in 2009.  Christopher Lobban, the Australian man she was involved with online, is reportedly wealthy.  It’s quite possible that Lobban’s wealth made him more attractive to Pagoria, just as her access to minors may have made her more interesting to him than she otherwise would have been.

Given that Pagoria had apparently found spanking sexually stimulating from an early age and had also been spanked as a child, it may have been easier for her to rationalize her actions as “discipline.”  In fact, if she’d done what the woman in the cartoon below had done, she might not have been charged at all.

Possible Extradition in Pagoria Case

Facebook Observer : July 19, 2011 8:27 am : child pornography, Examiner.com, Robin Pagoria, sadomasochism, violence

Christopher Donald Lobben, from Mullaloo in Western Australia, faces possible extradition to Polk County, Florida in the Robin Pagoria case.  According to news stories, Lobben allegedly told Pagoria how to make a “spanking table” and encouraged her to videotape herself severely beating two naked girls with a paddle.

Some of the media’s coverage seems a bit confused.  The Orlando Sentinel claimed that Pagoria allegedly uploaded the videos to a website called “spankolife” where Lobben could watch.  It’s quite likely that she did indeed upload the files somewhere Lobben could access them, but it probably would not have been to spankolife.com.  Although Pagoria had a profile there, the site apparently does not support any kind of private video, nor does it tolerate anything involving minors.  According to The Ledger, Pagoria used a popular video-sharing site called Vimeo.com to upload the videos.  This actually makes more sense, since Vimeo supports password-protected videos.
From what I could put together, it’s unclear whether this is the first time that Lobben has connected with a woman online who had access to children and persuaded her to send him videos.  Although most adults with a sexual interest in spanking do not seem to be predators, it’s possible that secrecy and shame may help a predator get away with victimizing others.  It’d be a lot harder for someone in the closet to go to the police about something they saw or experienced on a kink site.
The outrage and disgust directed at Pagoria have been palpable, but corporal punishment of children continues to be widely accepted in the U.S.  The WA News story noted this in its final paragraph:

Florida still permits corporal punishment in schools and a number of books on child-rearing advocate spanking, with the more extreme “Christian” ones recommending doing it on bare buttocks.

Some of the articles made a point of saying that she’d used a “leather sex paddle” in an apparent effort to distinguish it from the wholesome wooden paddles that can still be legally used in Florida’s public schools.  But the reason she moved to a leather paddle from a wooden one was that the wooden paddle left severe bruises.
Let’s take a look at a couple of things she posted on her Spankolife profile.  She says that lying was “spanked out” of her as a child.
On her profile, she also indicates that her fascination with spanking began early.
Human sexuality is complex and not yet well-understood.  But some people do experience some sexual imprinting from early experiences, and a study has shown a correlation between being spanked as a child and later sadomasochistic behavior.  People’s idea about what is normal is also shaped by their formative experiences.
The potentially sexual aspect of spanking can be confusing to children.  In an essay titled “I Don’t Believe This Was God’s Will,” a young Christian man writes about his childhood experiences and his struggle to deal with his adult fetish.  ”Taking My Medicine” is another story of growing up with frequent and severe physical punishment and developing a paraphilia.  Robin Pagoria arguably represents a far worse outcome, perhaps because she also developed a very impaired sense of boundaries.

Ben Thomes

Facebook Observer : July 16, 2011 8:09 pm : child pornography, Examiner.com, pedophilia

The good news is that Facebook has shut down the profile below.  The bad news is that “Ben Thomes” has come back with a new profile picture that’s so foul that I can’t screencap or link to it.  (It was, of course, reported to Cybertipline.)  PhotoDNA may indeed be an improvement over the previous approach, but it does not seem to be a silver bullet.

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