Monday, February 7, 2011

Photos Online

A recent article in NYMag discussed pressure on junior high and high school girls to share racy pictures of themselves on the internet.  Let's take a look at where some of those pictures could end up.

As you may have guessed, many of the pedophiles and child porn traders we've covered seem to have a low-bandwidth connection to reality.  A number of the profile pictures on friends lists and groups depict attractive young women.  Are most of these users really teenage girls who are eager to share child pornography with men online?  Probably not.  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.  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.  It's not hard to guess how these people found the photos of adolescents and young women that they used in their profile photos.  

To any middle or high school students who may be reading this, we'd seriously encourage you to think about what could happen to photos before you send or post them.  Once they're circulating, they're out of your control.  Guys aren't exempt either; we've seen a number of pedophiles using photos of boys to signal their interests.

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.  They like webcams too, especially since many of them know how to capture streaming video and convert that into video to trade.

Below are some screencaps of users we've seen recently who have probably borrowed photos from unsuspecting young women.   Whoever took that cellphone photo of herself probably would not be happy to discover that "Steve Wesley" found it.

This is "Alaina Loli," who's been deleted and come back numerous times with new accounts.  Is this character really a 13-year-old girl?  We doubt it.  We'd guess that "Alaina Loli" is actually a skeezy guy who found the cellphone photo of the girl in a bikini somewhere and used it to pose as a woman.  Just a hunch.

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