Porn Probes

Study Reveals 88% of Sexual Photos and Videos Uploaded by Teens are Reposted to ‘Parasite’ Porn Sites

"Of the 12,224 images and videos monitored on 68 different websites, 10,776 were later found on parasite websites."
200px iwf logo svg Study Reveals 88% of Sexual Photos and Videos Uploaded by Teens are Reposted to Parasite Porn Sites

(Photo: Wikipedia)

A study conducted by an internet safety non-profit called the Internet Watch Foundation has revealed that the vast majority of sexualized multimedia uploaded by teens to places like Facebook is lifted and hosted on outside porn sites. Most of the content was never meant to leave social networks, but 88 percent of the images studied by the IWF were later found on porn sites.

According to the Guardian:

Reams of sexually explicit images and videos are being uploaded by children and young people, the study found. 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.

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, set up in 1996 by the internet industry.

Furthermore, unless the Internet Watch Foundation and similar organizations can easily and categorically prove that the subjects of the photos and videos are minors, it can be near impossible to scrape them from the web. This can lead to an out of control feeling, which The Guardian reports has contributed to feelings of depression and suicide in teens.

The study is especially of note given the recent news surrounding Canadian teenager Amanda Todd, who committed suicide after being blackmailed with sexualized photos that a shady pedophile ring called “Cappers” had captured of her. As noted during Reddit’s jailbait scandal, many sexual (but legal) photos of minors are originally lifted from Facebook by users on message boards like 4chan before traveling to Reddit, Imgur and dedicated porn sites.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com