Underaged kids with cellphone cameras are the new source of child pornography
Sexual predatory behavior toward our children has seen a new incarnation in modern child pornography. (Almost) Gone are the days of the man in the van asking a little girl if she likes candy. This isn’t to say that “old fashioned” child pornography doesn’t exist anymore. Just ask Toronto and their successful Project Spade that caught over 348 people and rescued, according to the BBC, nearly 400 children in that investigation alone. But, with the internet, there isn’t a need for the van at all. There seems to be a disturbing trend that mixes online cyber-bullying, sexual abuse, and pedophilia.
There are two distinct ways child pornography is changing. The underage boyfriend asking the underage girlfriend for photos with his phone/camera and the webcam being remotely hacked. The webcam remote control hack is something that the United States is currently dealing with via a combination of federal charges that will most likely have the sexual predator end up in prison.
Cellphone cameras (and hand-held devices) allow a portal window into a girl’s bedroom. The old ads used to say, “It’s 10 pm, do you know where your child is?” They ran as an attempt to have parents know where their child was if not safe at home. With the internet, there isn’t a safe at home if you are an unaware parent.
Today, children can be asked to use a cellphone camera to take explicit pictures of herself and the perpetrator is usually her boyfriend. Please remove images of older guys lusting after young girls still in school. I am talking about boys the same age coercing the girls into taking the pictures. I will not get into why the boys think they need to have nude photos of their girlfriends, perhaps it is just a reflection of bad parenting. I will point out though that on November 14th, Global News ran an article about 10 Montreal area teens that are facing child pornography charges.
Not only are the 10 teens (aged 13-15) facing those charges, but their girlfriends did not know the pictures weren’t as private as the teen boys suggested they would be. This is the modern age twist. A child pornography ring created by children. This child pornography isn’t some creepy guy coercing a young girl, but rather it is the boy next door. The young teen dating your daughter and coercing the girls into taking the pictures and then distributing the pictures themselves.
These 10 teens were caught and the reaction of the authority figure was disturbing. The child pornographers were not going to be pressed with “jail time or anything like that” but rather, according to Constable Nathalie Lorrain, they are to be taught “more of a big lesson.” In other words, a slap on the wrist.
I am uneasy with the unwillingness of Constable Lorrain to take this sexual abuse and child pornography more serious than a bunch of kids toilet papering a house on Halloween. Unfortunately, this isn’t a unique case.
Constable Lorrain should have a chat with the parents of Rehtaeh Parsons. I would have suggested she have a talk with Rahtaeh herself , but unfortunately Rehtaeh committed suicide. The police failed to act on her abuse and nude photos with the authority that the citizens trusted them with. It took her death and subsequent (continuing) action by the family to receive anything resembling justice.
This small trend of failure by the police to enforce sexual abuse and child pornography laws is a growing problem for any society. It shows a system and a society that is too old, dumb or lazy to adapt to the modern cyber age.
Am I suggesting that the teens should get jail time? I know that might be the US reaction. Maybe jail isn’t the answer, but the language used by Constable Lorrain suggests that she is as upset at these teens for soliciting child pornography as she would be for someone knocking over a nativity scene.
“A big lesson” to be learned by these teens… A big lesson should have been learned by the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons, a big lesson should have been learned by other cyber-bullying suicides like Amanda Todd. Not a lesson taught to the teens, but the people who are supposed to protect the victims.
It’s a scary world; it always has been. This should be nothing new to parents, but the ‘old school’ way of thinking of “oh, it’s just the internet” needs to stop. If a guy came into your daughters bed room and took out his camera and coerced her to pose nude, would you be okay with that? Then why aren’t people up in arms about the teenager you can’t see taking those pictures and trying to blackmail her? I get the feeling that in the police’s eyes, child pornography is OK if its children perpatrating it.
If you see it – report it. If you don’t know where to report it, try here: https://www.cybertip.ca
I am glad that Canada stopped one child pornography ring with Project Spade, but I am saddened to see they allow a more modern form of child pornography without anything more than a “boys will be boys” attitude. For shame.