'Parasitic' porn websites stealing and re-posting sexually explicit images of children and young teenagers

Internet Watch Foundation found that 88 per cent of sexually suggestive or explicit images of young people are taken from their original location and re-posted of 'parasitic' porn sites

Pornographic websites are stealing ‘self-made’ sexually explicit images of children and young teenagers, a leading internet safety organisation said today.

The Internet Watch Foundation found that 88 per cent of sexually suggestive or explicit images and videos posted online by young people, usually on social networking websites, are taken from their original location and re-posted on ‘parasitic’ porn sites.

The study found that, during 47 hours over a four-week period, a total of 12,224 sexual images and videos were posted on non-pornographic websites. 10,776 of these were later found to have been duplicated on porn websites created solely for the purpose of sharing sexual images of young people.

Internet safety organisations have long warned children about the dangers of ‘sexting’ – the practice of sending sexual explicit images if yourself via mobile phone – with the IWF’s CEO Susie Hargreaves going as far as to tell children that once an image was made digitally available, it was no longer under their control.

“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.“

Of the sexual content monitored by IWF, 7,147 were images while 5,077 were videos. The campaign group UK Safer Internet Centre will use the research to inform new campaigns aimed at children.

But the organisation warned that if it cannot provide watertight proof that the young person in a sexually explicit image is under 18 they have no power to remove it from the internet.

David Wright, the director of UK Safer Internet Centre at South West Grid for Learning, said it was common for children to ”sext“ despite warnings. ”Much of the advice for children and young people is, quite rightly, to not 'sext',“ he said.

”However, this research, coupled with our experience, demonstrates that it is still not uncommon. We hope that our new resource will help and support those who have shared self-generated content to take positive action.“

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review