Children And Young People Warned About Posting Videos And Images

An internet safety organisation has warned that children and young people are posting thousands of sexually explicit images of themselves and their peers online. These are then being stolen by porn websites.

A study by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) reveals that 88% of self-made sexual or suggestive images and videos posted by young people, often on social networking sites, are taken from their original online location and uploaded on to other websites.

During 47 hours, over a four-week period, a total of 12,224 images and videos were analysed and logged. The majority of these were then mined by "parasite websites" created for the sole purpose of displaying sexually explicit images and videos of young people, IWF have said.

The original pictures and videos were uploaded by young people on to commonplace websites but then stolen by porn sites for display. 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 emails – and allowing friends to take suggestive pictures or video of them. Young people had to be aware that once an image was available digitally the image was no longer under their control, said Susie Hargreaves, CEO of the Internet Watch Foundation.

"This research gives an unsettling indication of the number of images and videos on the internet featuring young people performing sexually explicit acts or posing," she said. "It also highlights the problem of control of these images – 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.

"We need young people to realise that once an image or a video has gone online, they may never be able to remove it entirely."


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