Friday, September 30, 2016

Australian Schoolgirls Porn Website Back in Action, Victim Speaks Up

Australian Schoolgirls Porn Website Back in Action, Victim Speaks Up

Wikimedia/KEN

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A pornographic website that targets Australian schoolgirls is back online after police took it down earlier this August. The users of this website have resumed exchanging nude and semi-naked photos of girls just 10 days after it was shut down by the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.

Before it was closed down, photos of Australian schoolgirls, some as young as 14 years, from 30 NSW schools were featured online so users can rate them. Some of the girls’ names were also posted.

These photos were hacked from the girls’ phones or were meant to be viewed by their partners but have been distributed to others without their knowledge. The website was shut down and was expected to remain that way but the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner confirms the site had re-emerged and is back at what it used to do.

Now, about 70 Australian schools have been targeted.  Like before, some of the girls’ names have been posted and are currently seen on wanted lists. These girls’ sisters and friends are also available for others to see.

One of the victims, Natalie (not her real name), says that she felt violated and upset when she found out that her photos were uploaded on the site. Natalie’s photos were taken when she was 17 years old by a professional photographer. However, she did not know that the photographer intended to upload the intimate photos.

Natalie only found out when her friends and some random people told her about it. She asked the photographer to take the photos down but the photographer refused.

Apparently, she tried contacting the police but nothing happened. When her photos were still online, people would use them against her and repost them so they could be seen by more users.

Amy Gray, a writer and researcher of revenge porn, asserts that this site is not the only one. At least four other websites were found to have the same practices. Gray believes these sites aim to shame and hurt the girls’ reputation.

While laws exist to bring justice to these victims, it is very difficult for authorities to track these websites. It gets even more complicated when these are hosted overseas.