But Instagram says they don't violate "community guidelines"
Collective Shout has joined with the National Centre on Sexual Exploitation (US) and Defend Dignity (Canada) calling on Instagram to make changes to their platform in order to protect underage girls from predators.
We have been shining a spotlight on the way men are using the Facebook-owned picture posting platform to groom little girls, targeting them with sexual comments and messages.
We have collected hundreds of examples of explicit, sexual comments on girls photos. They say things like “please open your legs” and describe in detail exactly how they want to rape them. They ask for more photos, more videos and tell the girls to “check your DMs” (Direct messages).
Some of these accounts appear to be run by adolescent girls who post photos of themselves doing gymnastics or ballet. We’ve also seen many accounts that are “managed by mum” under the guise of "child modelling." Their daughters are labelled “influencers” and “supermodels” and some are signed to modelling agencies.
Some parents sell photos of their daughters in bikinis dancing, blowing kisses and washing the dog. They offer tiered subscriptions providing more “exclusive content” to men who sign up and pay a monthly fee. I've reported these accounts but Instagram tells me they don't violate their "community guidelines." By allowing these accounts to flourish, Instagram has effectively partnered with the account holders in carrying out the sexual exploitation of a child.
Recently I stumbled across a different kind of Instagram account. This account appears to be run by a man who has collected dozens of images of sexualised girls. I reported the account to Instagram and received a response telling me that it too, doesn't violate "community guidelines."
I looked at the account again. This time I scrolled further through his photos. What I discovered were images of little girls that appear to have crossed the line into child sexual exploitation material. I had to report this to police.
Instagram denies harm
In response to a request from Fox News about the campaign, Instagram responded via email with the following statement:
Any content that endangers or exploits children is unthinkable and has no place on Instagram. We have policies that prohibit this type of content, and we use proactive technology to find and remove content that poses a risk to children. We’re constantly working on more ways to help prevent this behavior on our platform.
This statement is demonstrably false. Instagram isn't even using adequate reactive let alone proactive technology. Technology isn't much use if Instagram's community guidelines allow for adults to sell sexualised photos of minors and men to post photos of little girls that appear to be unlawful. Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world and is estimated to be worth $100 billion. Instagram, how about putting some of those billions into protecting children on your platform?
Sound the alarm
This can't go on. We need your help to make sure this can't be ignored.
Join us on social media, use these twitter handles and hashtags
@mosseri Adam Mosseri Head of Instagram
@sherylsandberg Sheryl Sandberg Chief Operating Officer Facebook
@pmarca - Director Facebook
@dwehner David Wehner Chief Financial Officer Facebook
@schrep Mike Schroepfer Chief Technology Officer Facebook