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Almost 50 Irish kids and teens have images hijacked and used on porn sites

NewsBy Sunday World
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Almost 50 Irish teens and children as young as 12 had their social media photos hijacked and exploited on an international porn site amid claims several even had their photos traded online, it has emerged.

A major Garda probe is underway into the 'image harvesting' scam, with a senior Cork detective confirming they are now following a definite line of inquiry as to the individual who uploaded the private images.

The IP address used to upload the photos from social media pages to the international porn site was traced to Ireland - and the individual, who operated by the nickname 'Irish Exposed', showed a preference for young girls with Irish social media addresses.

One young woman, Lizzy Ryan (19), who had eight friends exploited by the site, said she found it "sickening" that some people were now attempting to blame the innocent teens for it.

Lizzy, from Templeogue in Dublin, said it was "very disturbing" clear preferences were shown on the site for the social media photos which depicted the youngest girls.

"I find it appalling that some people out there are actually victim-blaming.

"I think it is sick that some people are trying to focus the blame on the people whose images were taken rather than those who were exploiting," she told the Irish Independent.

"It is weird how people are out there saying 'it is their fault'. It is absolutely nothing to do with the girls involved."

She said several of her friends are effectively traumatised by what happened though, luckily, her own social media photos were not uploaded.

Many of the photos were taken from private social media pages - and it remains unclear how 'Irish Exposed' gained access to the images.

Another teen, Katie Kirwin (19) from Cork, admitted she found some of the vile comments on the site about the photos to be "sickening and quite alarming".

Katie had virtually all her social media photos 'harvested' without her permission and displayed on the porn site. The greatest number of comments and 'hits' were recorded for the photos taken when she was aged just 14 and 15 years.

"It is really quite worrying. Of course you'd be concerned about who has looked at those photos and who has attempted to download and store them," she said.

Katie said all the images hijacked from the Irish teens were innocent social shots with none being provocative or risqué. "Virtually all my photos are of just my face. In many cases they are the face of a 14-year-old and 15-year-old child," she said.

Katie has now lodged a formal complaint with gardai over what happened.

"Some of the comments are absolutely disgusting. They are vile," she said.

Another young woman was left deeply upset when vicious comments were passed about a photo in which she had gained weight.

In one case, a porn site user queried where he could find more images of a specific girl. And in another case, a site user offered to trade photos he had for more images of another girl.

An appeal for information via Cork radio stations RedFM and 96FM shocked gardai when it emerged almost 50 Irish teens were targeted rather than the 25 initially suspected.

Gardai have appealed to anyone whose images were 'harvested' to contact Angelsea Street Garda Station.

Via Independent.ie

IRISH TEENS HORRIFIED AFTER PICTURES END UP ON PORN SITE