More than 100 Britons were among 1,000 men caught trying to pay a computer-generated child to perform sex acts online, after a Dutch children’s charity set up a fake profile.
Terre des Hommes carried out a 10-week sting near Amsterdam, posing on video chat rooms as “Sweetie”, a 10-year-old Filipina girl.
Some 20,000 men contacted her, with 1,000 found to have offered her money…The names of these men – including 110 Britons – were passed to police…
When I visited the charity’s operations room – in a warehouse on the outskirts of Amsterdam – I watched as a researcher logged on to a chat room as Sweetie – incredibly life-like but created by a computer.
Within seconds, like sharks, men were circling.
Of the 1,000 men who were willing to pay Sweetie to take off her clothes in front of a webcam, 254 were from the US, followed by 110 from the UK and 103 from India…
The charity has now handed over its findings to police and has said it will provide authorities with the technology it has developed.
But European policing agency Europol has expressed reservations about the findings…And Andy Baker, of the UK’s National Crime Agency, also said that “tackling child sex abusers is best left to specialist law enforcement agencies”.
But he praised the campaign, saying it had “widened awareness of a global child sex abuse threat”…
Sweetie will not be used again. She has done her job – showing the predators that they can easily become prey.
If they’re keeping the program going, they should invest in better software. Sweetie ain’t near the sort of realism approached in computer-generated images for lots of movies.
OTOH, maybe this shows how strung out and weird the guys are who attempted to liason with Sweetie.