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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
# unaware
Pics of Irish teen girls are ending up on hardcore pornography sites
An RTÉ investigation, aired tonight, will show how the photos were used without the victims’ knowledge.

RTÉ TV Promotions / YouTube

“INNOCENT” PHOTOGRAPHS OF Irish teenage girls are ending up on pornography sites without them realising.

A special report due to be aired tonight will show the RTÉ Investigations Unit revealing how thousands of photos of Irish teenage girls end up on hardcore pornography sites without their knowledge.

It says that the photos are being taken from social media websites and then uploaded to adult sites.

The programme makers describe the photos found as “typical, innocent pictures, taken in social settings”.

But it says these images “are being copied by individuals who upload the pictures in their thousands to photo-sharing websites and in many cases to extreme hard-core pornography sites”.

Teenage girls

The pictures are mainly of young girls in their very early teens.

On some sites, members are able to comment on the photos, with the investigation showing that many of these comments are threatening and abusive.

The investigation will even reveal that personal information related to the individuals in the photos is also shared online.

It says it also discovered that some of those misappropriating the pictures were also involved in attempting to groom teenagers online.


Amy RTE Investigations Unit RTÉ Investigations Unit A CGI image created by RTÉ RTÉ Investigations Unit

RTÉ’s graphic design department created 14 year old ‘Amy’, a computer generated image (CGI) girl. ‘Amy’ joined a social media account at the beginning of October, using a public account.

The researchers said that in less than 30 days, the fictitious girl had accumulated over 1,000 ‘friends’ on the site.

Within a week she had started receiving private messages from teenage boys of a similar age who were encouraging her to exchange messages of a sexual nature.

The approaches Amy received then quickly intensified, including contact from adult men here and around the world who engaged her in extreme and sexually explicit conversations.

The programme will show that the messages it observed between one middle-aged man and ‘Amy’ were “alarming”.

The story of ‘Amy’ and the teen photos will be explored on Prime Time – Online and Unprotected, Thursday, 9.35pm on RTÉ One, RTÉ News Now and worldwide on the RTÉ Player.

Read: “Justice should heal” – Voices of sexual crime victims and perpetrators should be heard>

Read: Calls for new law to ‘call child pornography what it is’ – child abuse>

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