Instagram is the main platform for child sexual abuse networks, alert report

Pedophiles have found their preferred platform to sell and promote sexual abuse content to minors on Instagram .

Instagram is the main platform used by pedophile ringsto promote and sell content depictingchild sexual abuse , according to a report by Stanford University and the Wall Street Journal ( WSJ ).

“Large networks of accounts with the appearance of being run by minors openly advertise child sexual abuse material for sale,” researchers from the Center for Cyber ​​Policy at the prestigious Silicon Valley university said Wednesday.

” Instagram is currently the most important platform for these networks due to features like content recommendation algorithms and direct messaging, which help connect buyers and sellers,” they added.

And neither pedophiles nor these networks need to show much ingenuity .

In view and patience of users

According to the WSJ , a simple search for explicit keywords on the subject leads to accounts using these tags to advertise child sexual abuse content.

Many of these profiles “claim to be managed by the children themselves and use overtly sexual pseudonyms,” the article details.

The accounts don’t directly say they’re selling these images, but they do have menus with options, including, in some cases, requesting specific sexual acts.

Stanford researchers also detected offers of videos featuring bestiality and self-harm.

“At a certain price, children are available for in-person ‘meetings,'” the article continues.

The report highlights the role played by the algorithms of the popular social network: a test account created by the newspaper was “flooded with content that sexualizes children” after clicking on some of those recommendations.

instagram has problems

Meta , the parent company of Instagram , did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the WSJ , the social networking giant acknowledged having difficulties with its security services and said it had created a “task force” to address the issue.

In March, pension and investment funds filed a complaint against Meta for having “turned a blind eye” to human trafficking and pedophilia on their platforms.

Instagram is also regularly accused by associations and authorities of not sufficiently protecting children against the risks of bullying, addiction and personal image problems.