PERVERTS are harvesting social media photos of kids as young as five to share on a Russian “paedophile” website, reports claim.
Pictures of children from eight primary and secondary schools in Scotland were discovered on the website, which has been branded a global “meeting place for paedophiles”.
The photos were swiped from official school social media accounts and posted by anonymous users who have sickeningly boasted about being sexually attracted to kids.
Schools affected include Glasgow Gaelic School, Glasgow’s St Mungo’s Academy, Our Lady’s RC Primary in Perth, Stirling High School and primaries from St Ninian’s and Gargunnock, STV News reports.
The photos all innocently show youngsters receiving awards for sporting and academic achievements alongside extreme images of babies and children.
Many of the pictures feature the pupils holding certificates with their names on – leading to fears they could be tracked down.
‘PAEDO MEETING PLACE’
One user posted almost 6,000 photos and claims to be sexually attracted to children as young as nine.
Another boasts about “loving girls under 13” and chillingly refers to them as “beautiful creatures”.
The site hasn’t been named but is said to be run from St Petersburg and Is “popular for trading child pornography”, according to US law enforcement.
Its owners told STV: “The site policy forbids child pornography being posted and as a result there is none of that on site unless something is uploaded between moderation sessions.
“As there is no child porn on site, the site itself can’t be a trading forum nor a paedophiles’ meeting place.”
A spokesperson for the Scottish Government has now urged schools to “fully exercise responsibility for the care, safety and welfare of all pupils in school”.
They added: “Internet services and their regulation is a reserved matter and the Scottish Government is fully engaged in the UK Government’s current consultation on proposals to establish in law, a duty of care for service providers to their users as well as creating an independent regulator that will hold tech companies and providers of online services to account for tackling online harms.”
‘SAD AND SHOCKING’
Police Scotland said they haven’t received any complaints so aren’t investigating.
Councils in Scotland are now setting up groups to make sure precautions are taken to protect children.
A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “How very sad and shocking that innocent images used by our schools on public websites and their social channels to celebrate success are being stolen in this way.
“We issue updated advice frequently to our schools on how our young people can stay safe on line – especially in regards to personal privacy settings – in an ever changing digital landscape.
“Unfortunately there’s nothing that we can do to completely eradicate this risk – but schools can help by pixilating names on certificates that could lead to identification and parents have a role to play to make sure their children are following internet safety guidelines.”
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A Stirling Council spokesperson said they are working on reviewing how data is handled and are issuing guidelines relating to social media.
They added: “It is extremely concerning that any images of children would be copied and denigrated in the way that has been reported.
“As a local authority we take the safety of our young people extremely seriously and have in place extensive precautions in order to protect our children.”
While Perth & Kinross Council said guidance surrounding use of the images hadn’t been broken, adding: “Unfortunately, as this situation exemplifies, there may always be individuals who wish to make entirely inappropriate use of images of children and young people.”