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07 NOVEMBER 2013

Virtual girl called 'Sweetie' used to stop webcam child sex tourism

"To show how unrestrained child predators can act but also to show how easy it is to track them down the Dutch child rights organisation put itself in the shoes of a 10–year–old Filipino girl. With an innovative technology the virtual character Sweetie was created to be controlled by Terre des Hommes researchers. From a remote building in Amsterdam the researchers operated in public chat rooms. In a very short period, over 20,000 predators from around the world approached the virtual 10– year–old, asking for webcam sex performances. While the adults interacted with the virtual girl, the researchers gathered information about them through social media to uncover their identities. With this evidence Terre des Hommes Netherlands is pushing all governments to adopt proactive investigation policies, with a world wide petition, starting today."

(Hans Guyt, The Hague, 4 November 2013, Terre des Hommes)

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TAGS

20133D visualisationAmsterdamavatarbelievabilitybotchat roomchild abuse • child exploitation • child pornographychild protection • child rights • child sex tourism • child victims • developing nationsdigital actorsexploitation • Filipino • girl • Hans Guyt • human-likehyperrealismillegal behaviourinnovative technologylaw enforcementlifelikelolitaNetherlandsonline youth victimisation • perpetrator • Philippines • post-traumatic stress • posting onlinepredatorprotectionpuppetreal-life dollsafeguardingsex crimesex offenders • sex tourism • sexual acts • sexual exploitationsexual fetishsexual slaverysexualised depictions • Sweetie (virtual girl) • synthespian • Terre des Hommes • victimvirtual charactervirtual girlvisual depictionvoyeurismvulnerabilityvulnerable groupsvulnerable peoplewebcam • webcam child sex tourism • webcam sexyoung childrenyoung people

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 NOVEMBER 2008

Webcam viewers taunt teenager as he commits suicide

"A teenager committed suicide in front of a live webcam as 1,500 people watching online egged him on. Abraham Biggs, 19, told users on a bodybuilding forum he would be committing suicide that night and invited them to watch the live video. Forum moderators allegedly ignored the post – assuming it was a prank – while other users posted insults and even encouraged him. The teen used the 'lifecasting' website Justin.tv – designed to let users share the minutiae of their everyday lives – to stream footage from his bedroom.

Biggs, from Florida, was seen taking pills before lying on the bed with his back to the camera. Users claim they only realised it was serious a few hours later when they saw he wasn't breathing. Moderators then traced Biggs's location and informed authorities. The webcam was still streaming live footage of the teen's body as police entered the room yesterday. ...

His death echoes that of British man Kevin Whitrick, from Shropshire, who also killed himself in front of a webcam while at least 100 other people watched. ... The deaths have sparked a wave of concern following 17 internet–related suicides within the UK since 2001."

(Debra Killalea, 21st November 2008)

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TAGS

2008 • Abraham Biggs • CandyJunkie • cyberpsychologydeath • digital forensics • Florida • internet-related • Justin.tv • Kevin Whitrick • lifecasting • live • pills • schadenfreude • social softwarespectatorshipstreaming videosuicide • taunt • teenteen suicideteenager • video stream • voyeurismvulnerability of childhoodvulnerable peoplewebcam

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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