Monday, January 24, 2011

Child Pornography: Are Parents Pimping Their Children?

“Yeah, we’ll get that sorted and back to you end of this week. Won’t be a big job.” Chris, reassured, nods relief to the computer repairer and heads out the of the shop, planning a raid on his kids X-box, about to become a week’s dose of methadone for his daily computer fix. Just a few days to get through. He can make it. Well, only just. Out the back room, away from public gaze, Reece plugs the computer in, then navigates into ‘Pictures’, selects ‘Baby’ and ‘Kids photos’, then copies and saves to flashdrive all the images.

Josie checks a competition website, skimming through the forums and categories. There it goes- another “Baby in a Bath” contest has been listed. She can enter her gorgeous 2 year old cherub’s photo, the really cute one, in the bath with just a few bubbles all around her. On the baby product company’s website, Josie fills out the registration and uploads her precious child’s photo. Bursting with parental pride she copies the weblink and broadcasts to all friends and contacts a plea – “Please vote for my babies photo!” Soon Facebook, and competition website posts appeal the same, and friends answer the call, spreading the message and photo web link far afield.

Reece finishes copying to his website, the kids photos saved from Chris’ computer. There’s a new request for more photos of babies, preferably taken at bath time. Reece googles “baby in bath”, and smiles at the new rich source of images, and income. Fresh meat! Josies’ photo is copied and saved.

Josie’s photo of her little girl, the 2 year old cherub so innocently pictured in a few inches of water and bubbles, will be sold through Reece’s network of pedophile sites. Copied and distributed a 1,000 times over, forever circulating to appear in secret, closed sites only the pedophile world will access.

Or the police if they can gain undercover access.

How does a parent feel when police advise them, their child’s photo is part of that criminal web?


Computer repair man’s offending ‘disturbing and sinister’

“A computer repairer who stole images of naked children from unsuspecting clients computers goes to jail for 2 ½ years.”

Reading his morning paper, Chris is incensed by the headlined story, as he recalls his computer was quickly repaired by that really nice guy who didn’t charge that much at all for cleaning out that last virus. And there were all his family and kids photos on it- all those early photos of bath time, and running nude on the beach on that wonderful family holiday.

“I hope that bastard gets what’s coming to all perverts in jail!” he exclaims to Josie. “People selling photos to perverts should be castrated !”

Josie responds, “How can someone do that? Steal all those photos and put them online for all those pricks to drool over?”

Another baby product company lists its latest marketing contest. Josie registers, uploads her precious cherub’s photo, then types “Please vote for my baby’s photo”….
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Footnote- As parents, we need to realise that posting your child's photo online is not the same as times past, when you could enter their photo in your local shopping mall baby photo contest. Are you 100% sure of the integrity of all your Facebook friends?

Once your child's photo is copied, you have no control over where it may be trafficked

Why are baby product supply companies using you, the parent, to contribute your child's photo, with no controls to stop them being copied, just to push their sales and chase profits?

Computer repairer jailed.  Parents please read that link. It will help illustrate just how ingenious these pedophile photo traders are.
parents warned of facebook model scam And check this out also. Keep your kids safe. Know what they are doing on Facebook.
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35 comments:

Pandora Poikilos said...

Thank you for that Jim! I think a lot of people just aren't certain of how far Social Media can go, which is why I initiated the Pledge of Responsible Social Media Users. I've linked your article in my blog as hot stuff and will include it as part of the Keep Me Safe campaign as well. Cheers - Dora
http://peacefrompieces.blogspot.com/p/keep-me-safe.html

TourAbsurd said...

Yeah, a more connected world is really great in many ways. Sometimes, however, it's good to think things through when it comes to privacy concerns.

You might be interested in a FB page set up by a friend of mine: "Unfriend Fake Profiles - "Not a Real Person"

She set it up after realizing that a local business owner was encouraging businesses to NOT use fan pages, but set up a profile specifically to gain access to peoples' personal information (especially children). Here's the group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Unfriend-Fake-Profiles-Not-a-Real-Person/156767774374769

Cheers!

SJ said...

As a parent, it's terrifying how something which seems so innocent can then be used for something so perverse. It's also such a valid point, people are sickened by it but then go ahead and publish more stuff that just fuels the demand. Really good post and I hope it opens some eyes.

Jim said...

Thanks Sarah and Pandora, I posted this because on a contest website, I dared to suggest to someone asking people to vote for her baby in a bath photo online in a company marketing contest, that she should think twice before she posts her babies photo online. And boy, did she come back at me viciously. Well educated, works in Early Childcare, and has 3 kids- as if all that makes a difference. A friend's computer was raided by that computer repair guy in the link, who was sent to jail. So it made me stop and think about all the people who post kids photos on Facebook, some as art, and I began to wonder about what could happen to all those photos. So are parents also contributing to the trade in kiddie photos, unknowingly

Jessica M said...

A really important reminder of reality for all parents to contemplate. I have a lot of fb friends and many of the mother's I know personally have said they, when accepting a friend request from someone they haven't met offline, or even an old high school friend they never knew that well, they will make it so their security settings will only allow them to see certain things..and not see other things...like photo albums. I've thought of how much that's a good idea, but have never gotten around to it...this article gave me the push I needed! Thanks so much.

I've always posted pics of my kids with clothes but have been so tempted at times to post those cute family vacation photos of my son, naked, rinsing off at the outside shower at a Florida beach. He's just so naturally uninhibited in the photos, I find it adorable. I never posted them for fear I'd be the one to get in trouble from facebook...I never even thought about the sickos out there...we do live in a dark, dark world unfortunately.

~blessings

Michele said...

Wow, makes you think that maybe we share too much of our lives on the net.

http://mbrsociety.org

alejandro guzman said...

I agree with all mentioned. Having a little blog about a baby girl I have slipped up once with a photo (thanks Jim). I try and pick photos in full knowledge that there are f@#%ers out there!

And by God if I do find anyone or any site using them not in the way they were intended. Watch Out!!! I won't just be hurting you Mate!

Cheers

JIM said...

Great Post Jim.. Hopefully it will make people think about this area of this problem. Computers are great things that can be used to help us just like guns and knives. But when aimed the wrong way can cause so much damage and hurt.
I will retweet this

Tour guide said...

The most cases of Pedophilia take place at home, child abuse are frequent, here in Brazil it takes place in particular for step fathers, fathers, cousins, also for strange, it's difficult struggle against the pedophilia, without mention on the websites (adult contents) they should be prohibited in my viewpoint because encourage directly and indirectly for child pornography, I don't support censorship but for adult content I really desire the home pages should be banned. Change of subject my pleasure to be here visit my friend's blogger, all the best. Carlos from Brazil

Wanda said...

Great post Jim! This is exactly why I don't post pictures of my grandchildren, children on my facebook and very seldom on my blog. You never know who is going to be looking at them!

Like all grandparents/parents, I am very proud of my grandchildren, but I prefer to keep them to myself and family members only.

Patricia Lynne said...

Great post, I'm posting it on my wall because I have a few people that constantly post about their child and images and all I can think is 'You're opening the door to sickos!'

Jim said...

Thanks everyone for helping spread this.
So what do you think about the repairman going to jail for stealing photos and making those available to pedophiles, but parents who make their babies photos online and available, are not prosecuted?
Are they abusing their children?

Kerry-ann said...

Good article Jim and well written. It amazes me after all the scandals, headlines and stories buzzing round about privacy issues, identity theft etc how many 'intimate' photos parents put up of their children. Once these photos go public that parent can't do anything to control who sees. Even in facebook, friends of friends have access - especially those who haven't set their privacy settings. Scary!

YogaSavy said...

This is very disturbing. There was or still is a show a reality show where young kids as old as 6 take part in beauty pageants. I could never understand this....
Am sure this post will create a lot of debate. Thanks for the information

Debra said...

What an atrocity! What is this world coming to? Thanks Jim for this awakening post.

Lorna - the roamantics said...

i have to say i feel a little ill jim, but i'm glad you wrote this. it's such an important remark on how different things are in this digital age.

Jorie Pacli said...

This is an excellent article Jim. Some people have become so greedy that they resort to this kind of exploitation - an atrocious and selfish act. I wish them severe punishment!
Pls allow me to share this on my fb wall for all my friends to read. Thanks Jim in advance.:)

Jim said...

Share it Jorie and everyone. I feel that companies sponsoring baby photo competitions have got to be asked questions also for encouraging parents to post up photos.

tbaoo said...

this is another indication of just how sad our world has become, good post jim .. if that's the right expression ;(

Pamela said...

Great post to bring awareness. . .grrrr to such perves!!!!! Social media/technology has made it easier for these sickos to get away with such crap! We, parents, have to be aware and smart (and teach our kids the same).

Qurkl said...

Thanks for writing this! I have posted a link to my Facebook pages. This is important information to get out there.

Hostel Tinktinkie, Santa Rosa de Calamuchita said...

Great post Jim and you certainly grabbed my attention! I am defintely going to post this link to my Fb page. I think it is very important information that all parents should be made aware off.

Thank you for sharing!

Cathy Sweeney said...

So good that you posted this, Jim. We lose sight sometimes about the potential dangers that are out there with social media & internet. It is very sad that this is happening, but important to bring awareness to the issues. Thank you!

Andrea said...

Excellent topic, Jim! I would also consider your child's wishes before posting his or her image online. You are making that decision for him. What if, as an adult, he becomes unhappy about his "public" persona?

Jim said...

A valid point Andrea. You're taking that decision away from the baby/child and the right to do that, may not rest with the parent.
How would a person feel, finding out that their cute baby photos are being trafficked?

J said...

Child pornography is abhorrent, and people who traffic in these images should be punished.

But seriously? "Are [parents] abusing their children"?

You want to protect your kids - I get it. There are a lot of big, scary things in the world. But why do you care what some pervert does with your child's photo in his basement? Why does that matter to you?

I'm not suggesting that pedophiles ever get a free pass. People caught trafficking in illicit photos of children should be stopped.

But this kind of paranoia and fear is regressive. It imprisons you and your family and punishes innocent people. Many mothers I know live in near-constant fear of any grown man who even glances at their children.

Why don't we blame fertilizer companies for marijuana and cocaine abuse? Why don't we boycott 7-eleven for selling alcohol that contributes to underage drinking?

What you do with your own baby pictures is up to you. But don't judge others for what they choose to do with theirs.

Jim said...

"But why do you care what some pervert does with your child's photo in his basement? Why does that matter to you?"
If you want to look at it that way then J, why bother prosecuting anyone? Why do we not just allow the trade, since as you ask, does it matter?

Most of society would feel it does matter.

But the point of this article, and for posting the questions, is to spread awareness to a lot of parents that are unaware how easy it is for their photos to be copied and trafficked.
Given that knowledge, perhaps a lot of parents will be more discerning over what photos they place online.

Laurel said...

Perhaps I'm naive, but I can't believe innocent photos of children would be used like this. I feel sick just reading about it when you think of how many people innocently share online photos of their kids online. Good heads up. I felt sick learning about this.

Mary said...

I am speechless! I have always been very careful of what I put out there on the web, but I know of people who post and share, even the most innocent of pictures, and as I see them come up on my fb page I'm wondering...where are these going to end up!
I believe that I will be sharing this post on my fb page and hopefully, some of the parents there will read it and take heed.

Jim said...

That is one of the reasons for this article Laurel, that it is sadly happening for the worst reasons, and so many people are unaware.
The prosecution of the computer repairman just goes to highlight the trade, and the lengths they will go to , to get kids photos- photos that most of us would think pretty innocent.
So if parents are made aware of the trade, then they may use more discretion over where, how and what type of pictures they post online.

J said...

Jim - I agree that parents should be aware of the potential for abuse of images that they post online. It is important.

But you suggested that you wrote this article to spawn some debate. There didn't seem to be any discussion in the comments.

This made me wonder, without my own children to consider, how I would feel if I discovered that someone had downloaded baby pictures of myself for sexual purposes. I expect I would simply feel sorry for them, and be concerned that it may fuel their desire to physically abuse or molest another child. THIS - actual sexual abuse of children - is a much, much bigger issue to me.

It is worth noting that many sex therapists are divided on the effect of child pornography on child sexual abuse. Some actually believe that child pornography can lead to a decrease in sexual abuse, because it can "help pedophiles to fulfill their deviant needs on the fantasy level and therefore they do not need to put into practice their pedophile urges."

In the Czech Republic (as late as 2007 anyway) it is the production and distribution of child pornography which is illegal - not possession of it.

Computer Repair said...

I have enjoyed reading your articles. It is well written. It looks like you spend a large amount of time and effort in writing the blog.I am appreciating your effort.

Laura said...

People are too trusting of "friends" on the Internet. We need to transfer our "street smarts" to the web and make protection of our privacy and our kids' privacy paramount! Remember that once something's online, it's out there forever!

Thanks for a necessary post to bring awareness.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting topic , appreciate it for posting .

Anonymous said...

That was an excellently written essay, thank you so much.



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