Social media Children’s sock pictures have ended up on pedophile sites – Expert tells how to protect your own child on social media

It would be good for the parent to ask about the child’s or young person’s “day of the day” in the same way as about the school day, says specialist Mika Pietilä from the Digital Youth Work Competence Center.

On Monday it was reported that an image of a child or young person uploaded to social media could end up on a porn site used by pedophiles. Save the Children’s Association’s Danish sister association clarified the matter on the basis of contacts on its hotline.

Read more: Save the children: Everyday pictures taken of children have ended up on porn pages, the extent of the phenomenon in Finland is unknown

According to a Danish report, images published by children or children’s relatives have been copied from social media and pasted into a sexualizing context elsewhere. Edited images have been distributed without permission, for example, on various pornographic sites.

There were 110 notifications related to such images during 2019. The Danish Association’s hotline received more than 5,000 calls during the year, so the number of notifications related to everyday images was less than 2% of all notifications.

Specialist Mika Pietilä The Center for Excellence for Digital Youth Work emphasizes that it is not possible to estimate the extent of the phenomenon in terms of the number of notifications.

“The phenomenon is the same as with all sexual violence, meaning only a small part of the phenomenon becomes apparent. The phenomenon is increasing, so it is important to talk about it, ”says Pietilä.

SCHOOL HEALTH SURVEY according to, the experience of sexual harassment online has increased among high school and secondary school students. Sexual harassment experienced online has increased at all grade levels.

Specialist Paula Aalto The Mannerheim League for Child Welfare stresses that parents need to stop thinking about some of their children’s publications.

“It is good for our parents to realize that even if something is not sexual to us, it can be for someone else,” Aalto says.

Few people think that if a child makes a video application for Tiktok, a dance video, someone outside can take screenshots of the video.

“The video itself is not sexual, but when a picture is taken of a certain position or look, it can be sexualized,” says Aalto.

Youtube has been trying to block timestamps on videos that contain children, precisely to make screenshots more difficult.

The end of everyday images on pornography sites is not a new phenomenon. In 2018, Belgian police reported that up to three million images of children and young people have been uploaded to a Russian photo site. The photos have been retrieved from the children’s parents ’Facebook and Instagram accounts. The pictures showed, among other things, children in swimsuits at summer camps, beaches and swimming pools.

“What matters is who the pictures are shared with.”

Should parents urgently delete all pictures published by their children from social media?

“Every parent has to make that decision for themselves. Not all parents are so aware of where the picture or video material published everywhere about a child can end up, ”says Mika Pietilä.

There are a few things to keep in mind for parents who publish pictures. Images may not, in principle, be published without the child’s permission. At the very least, it’s not worth sharing little-dressed pictures of a child or young person.

“What matters is who the images are shared with. If you work with people who are important to you on your social media, such people will hardly share pictures of your child anywhere else, ”says Aalto.

He emphasizes that the challenge in the public debate is that parents should not be intimidated into becoming ill.

“Our children and young people have the right to operate in a digital environment. It is an area where they can learn and get information about things and phenomena related to their own lives, ”says Aalto.

Parent Checklist – Go through these things with your child

  • Anyone can get harassing messages and face sexual attraction online.

  • An adult who sexually approaches or attracts or pressures for sexual acts acts unlawfully and abusively.

  • Talk to the young person about media use and social media activities. Remind young people to take care of their privacy in digital environments.

  • Instructions for preventing the young person from harassing and harassing the user. Encourage the young person to also report to the maintenance of the platform.

  • If the harasser is an adult, urge the young person to report it to the police and help him or her if necessary.

  • A child who reports harassment should not be punished, for example, by restricting the use of the telephone.

  • Remind the young person to take recordings and screenshots of messages and videos. The Snapchat message can be captured by capturing the phone screen on another device.

Source: Ask, Meet, Listen Guide.

Everyday images also end up on pedophile sites directly from children. 62 per cent of the children who responded to the Save the Children Association’s survey published in May said that they had been contacted via the Internet by a person they knew or suspected to have been an adult or a person at least five years older.

A pedophile often occurs at a younger age. English pedophile David Wilson appeared on Facebook as a teenage girl. He was attracted to pictures of up to 500 children and young people. Wilson was sentenced to 25 years in prison early this year.

Paula Aalto emphasizes the importance of foresight and communication with the child. A child can imagine being completely safe when operating in the digital world. He can also imagine a stranger he meets online to be his friends. A child or young person can also seek attention from strangers.

“Talk to the child about using the internet as well as other things that are important to the child and interests. The child must not be intimidated to death or blamed for using the media, but rather marvel at the phenomenon together with the child, ”Aalto advises.

Talking and responding to problem situations can be difficult for a parent who is unfamiliar with the operating environment. Pietilä emphasizes that it is good to ask about a child’s and young person’s Finnish day in the same way as about his or her school day.

“When a parent is interested in a child’s dress, it creates a sense of security for the child. If something bad happens in Some, the child will be able to tell about it on a low threshold, ”says Pietilä.

The first reaction of an adult must not be that “the use of the telephone is prohibited”.

“This kind of reaction can lead to the fact that the parent is not the first to be told if someone goes wrong in the digital world,” Paula Aalto emphasizes.

Pietilä says that young people who send their pictures to a person who has turned out to be an adult can hide the matter in their shame or guilt for years.

“A child or young person who encounters such a thing is never guilty, but the perpetrator is always an adult,” says Pietilä.

Practical instructions for children and young people

  • Always think before you share your photos on social media.

  • Keep in mind that screenshots can be taken from your photos.

  • You should not share your personal information publicly.

  • Always ask permission to share other images.

  • It is good for a minor’s homepage to be private.

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