Researchers believe that the Meta platform is the main one used by pedophile networks to sell content showing abuse of minors.
Instagram, a subsidiary of Meta, is the main platform used by child crime networks to promote and sell content showing the abuse of minors, according to a report by Stanford University and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
“Large networks of accounts, which give the appearance of being operated by minors, openly promote the sale of content” child ography, said Wednesday researchers from the Cyber Policy Center of the prestigious University of Silicon Valley. “Instagram is currently the most important platform for these networks thanks to features such as content recommendation algorithms and messaging that helps sellers connect with buyers”they added.
And neither the pedophiles nor these networks need to show much ingenuity. According to the WSJ, a simple search for keywords such as #pedo (“ing pedo”) or #preteensex (“pre-teen sex”) brings up accounts that use these terms to advertise content showing abuse of minors. Often these profiles “claim to be driven by the children themselves and use overtly aliases with words like “little for you”, details the article.
Videos with and self-harm
The accounts don’t directly say they’re selling these images, but they do feature menus with options, including asking for specific sex acts, in some cases. Stanford researchers also spotted offers for videos with and self-harm. “At a certain price, children are available for “met” in person”, continues the article. The report highlights the role played by the algorithms of the popular social network: a test account created by the economic daily was seen “inundated with content that izes children” after clicking on a few such recommendations.
Meta did not immediately respond to a request from AFP. According to the WSJ, the social media giant acknowledged that there were problems within its security services and said it had created a “work group” to solve the problem. Last March, pension and investment funds filed a complaint against Meta for having “close your eyes” on human trafficking and pedocrime on its platforms. Instagram is also regularly accused by ociations and authorities of not sufficiently protecting children against the risks of harment, addiction and self-image problems.