Tuesday, August 22, 2006

When Child Modeling Sites Creep Toward Porn

NY Times

To attract subscribers, central marketing sites, called portals, list scores of available modeling sites that accept money in exchange for access to children’s images. The portals promote the busiest sites, ranking them by the number of hits they receive. Such a marketing approach proved effective for some online child pornography businesses that have disappeared over the last year, including those that offered illicit videos of children generated by Webcams.

The Times did not subscribe to any sites, which it first saw referenced in online conversations among pedophiles. The Times followed a link posted in those conversations to forum postings and images on freely accessible pages of the modeling sites. Because those sites appeared to be illegal, The Times was required by law to report what it had found to authorities. Federal law enforcement officials were notified in July about the sites.

In contrast to their advertising, many of the sites portray themselves on their main pages as regular modeling agencies trying to find work for their talent. But executives in the legitimate modeling business said that virtually everything about the sites runs contrary to industry practice. Most child images for genuine agencies are password-protected, the executives said, with access granted to companies and casting agents only after a check of their backgrounds. (emphasis mine)

This mismatch between the advertising directed at the web site's paying customers and the advertising directed at parents of potential models is very important.

Caring parents may not see anything troubling on a very dangerous modeling site.

It wouldn't surprise me if those who run these types of web sites, ask for an increase in the level of sexuality little by little so the parents gets sucked in by the positive feedback and the money.

For an interesting discussion on the newspaper's reporting of illegal web sites to law enforcement, visit Prawfs blawg.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 2:43 PM   0 comments links to this post


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