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Are Your Kids Posting Smut?

Tech blog, Mashable, recently posted an article titled How Kids’ Pics Are Going From Social Networks to Porn Sites which describes how child porn sites are getting as much as 88% of their suggestive or sexual images of children or young people from social websites, having been uploaded by the kids themselves.

From Mashable's article:
The Internet Watch Foundation spent 47 hours (over four weeks) monitoring sexually explicit images and videos uploaded to the Internet by children and young adults. During the period, the Internet safety organization logged 12,224 images on 68 various “social network sites.” 
Before long, almost 11,000 of those photos had been mined by pornographic “parasite websites” — sites created with the sole purpose of exploiting sexual images of underage males and females.
 It's a worrying study for anyone who has kids and perhaps doesn't monitor their internet activity as closely as they'd like to. Mashable's article might just be useful in starting the discussion with your children on just how far a compromising image can go, without the uploader's knowledge.

The article caught my eye for an entirely different reason.

Back in July of 2009 I created what became a hugely popular animated series on GoAnimate called The GoAnimate Complaints Department, staring Jim Benton's Happy Bunny. In it I made a throw away joke where an adult 'teacher' questions if the site's staff are aware that young kids use the website? (as a response to some 'adult themed' animations being posted with no warnings of Adult Content at the time).

Happy Bunny knew in 2009 where online 'smut' comes from!
To which Happy Bunny replies "Yeah... and I wish they'd stop posting smut!".

I don't think I was being prophetic when I wrote the joke but it doesn't surprise me that many of these questionable images making it to child porn sites comes from young people themselves.

I've seen it so often on GoAnimate with sexually graphic speech in animations made by young people who think it's funny or cool to make cartoon characters talk 'smutty'.

Rather than get on my soapbox about keeping a closer eye on your kids online activities, I'd just say be aware that this happens and discuss with your children how far some images can travel without their knowledge online.


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