Now that we are going on holiday again en masse, social media is also full of holiday pictures of children. These are often pictures of children playing by the water: a swimming pool, the sea or a small pool in the garden. Precisely these kinds of images are popular among paedosexuals.
Swimming trunks or just buttocks
“In investigations of pedophiles, we see a lot of material that parents or grandparents themselves have put online,” says detective Annemiek van Noord from the Team Combating Child Pornography and Child Sex Tourism (TBKK) in North Holland.
“Often these are everyday holiday photos where a child is not fully dressed,” says Van Noord. “For example, they’re only wearing swimming trunks, or you can see their bare bottoms, so it’s not like pictures with only genitals on them are interesting to these suspects.”
“Images of a child playing in swimming trunks are very normal. But pedosexuals exchange such images among themselves and share their sexual fantasies. And this is something that you, as a parent, never wanted when you shared a nice vacation photo.”
Police and experts who spoke to RTL Nieuws are urging parents and grandparents to think about what images they share online. Photos on public profiles on Facebook and Instagram are available for anyone to view and download.
Innocent photos can easily be traced there by pedosexuals, stored and often distributed further – also in large child pornography networks on the dark web. You can see what you can do about it in this video:
“Would you show a half-naked picture of your child to a complete stranger? That’s basically what you’re doing when you post it publicly on social media,” says Ini Vanwesenbeeck of Tilburg University, an expert on social media risks. for children .
“When you share it online, you lose control. A picture of your child by the pool is not sexual, but there can always be someone who forwards it or copies it and reuses it in another context.” The police also emphasize that: Be aware of what you post online and where, and definitely don’t just send everything.
These kinds of images are also popular among pedosexuals because it is not punishable, says Van Noord. “It’s safe material for suspects because they can simply have it in their possession. They know that, but parents aren’t always aware that their holiday photos can be misused in that way. That’s why we think it’s important to warn against this..”
Police do not inform parents if photos of their children with suspects are found. “Our task is to save children from abusive situations. With these kinds of holiday photos, there is no direct abuse or that a child needs to be rescued from such a situation.”
When is a picture of a naked child also child pornography?
Child pornography material is visual material where the purpose is clearly sexual, explains Van Noord from Team Combating Child Pornography and Child Sex Tourism (TBKK). A photo of a naked child by a swimming pool, for example, is not. For example, as soon as a cut is made of genitalia, it can be considered child pornography. The TBKK detectives assess whether images of a suspect have sexual intentions and have also received training in this regard.
Even masking of heads, which has become popular on social media in recent years, does not ensure that such images do not end up with pedosexuals. Van Noord: “Parents do this purely for the child’s privacy, but this type of material is still popular among these suspects. They are sexually aroused by a child’s body, the head is usually just an afterthought.”
And it is also doubtful whether children still enjoy being confronted with (half) nude holiday snaps from fifteen years ago at a later age, says van Noord.