INTERNET

Porn sites steal young people's private sexual photos

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2012, 4:31am
 

The vast majority of sexually explicit images of young people posted online by themselves and their peers are being stolen by porn websites, an internet safety organisation said.

A study by the Internet Watch Foundation revealed that 88 per cent of self-made sexual or suggestive images and videos posted by young people, often on social networks, are taken from their original location and uploaded to other sites.

The IWF analysed a total of 12,224 images and videos uploaded by children and young people in 47 hours over a four-week period, and found that the majority of these were mined by "parasite" websites created for the sole purpose of displaying sexually explicit images and videos of young people.

Of the 12,224 images and videos monitored on 68 different websites, 10,776 were later found on parasite websites.

Organisations warned children and young people of the dangers of "sexting"- sending sexually explicit texts or e-mails - and allowing suggestive pictures or videos to be taken of them.

"This research gives an unsettling indication of the number of images and videos on the net featuring young people performing sexually explicit acts or posing," said IWF chief executive Susie Hargreaves. "It also highlights the problem of control … Once an image has been copied on to a parasite website, it will no longer suffice to simply remove the image from the online account."

UK Safer Internet Centre, a group that campaigns for responsible internet use, will use the research to inform new campaigns aimed at children.

Will Gardner, director of the UK Safer Internet Centre at Childnet, said adults had a responsibility to ensure young people knew about the dangers of posting sexual images of themselves online. "Education … [is] vital in helping them to stay safe online," he said.

The study comes after a prominent incident in Canada this month in which British Columbia schoolgirl Amanda Todd, 15, committed suicide. She left a YouTube video alleging that she was bullied and blackmailed after a topless image of her circulated on the internet.

Share

Send to a friend

To forward this article using your default email client (e.g. Outlook), click here.

Enter multiple addresses separated by commas(,)

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.