How are children exploited online? It can start with a photo

How are children exploited online? It can start with a photo

How are children exploited online? It can start with a photo

Police get new case every day or 2, and there’s no getting pictures back from cyberspace

As soon as Const. Lisa Harris started typing in the online chat room, a stranger claiming to be a 24-year old male initiated a conversation.

He kept chatting even after she led him to believe she was a 15-year-old female. He wanted to know where she was from and what she was up to.

But Harris said internet child exploitation officers get new investigations involving teenagers in Newfoundland and Labrador at least every second day. The teens may have shared intimate images online with friends or romantic partners.

By the time the police get involved, the images have been widely circulated. Strangers can make the pictures available to others right around the world.

“Once something is sent out into cyberspace, there’s no getting it back,” said Harris. “The unfortunate part is that as much as we can try and investigate and ensure the image is deleted or hasn’t been spread, we don’t have any power to delete the internet.”

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