Why Facebook must abandon plans for 'Instagram for kids'
Collective Shout with James Evans*
How would you feel if you found out your neighbour had 10,000 images of underage girls wearing bikinis on his hard drive? What if I told you that Instagram hosts collections just like this, serving no other purpose than the sexual entertainment of men?Read more
Collective Shout quoted in 10 Daily article
10 daily forwarded several photographs of Australian Instagram models aged between nine and 15 to Collective Shout. It's a grassroots campaigns movement against the objectification of women and the sexualisation of girls.
“I searched for a couple of images and found them on porn sites. It’s likely the majority of them are on porn sites and others are in a chat room with inappropriate sexual comments about a primary school aged girl,” campaigns manager Caitlin Roper said.
10 daily has viewed and can confirm that these images were shared on a porn site and other chat rooms.
But who should be held accountable for where these pictures are ending up?
Michael Murchie was the man behind the camera for at least one of the child photos Roper found a porn site. He told 10 daily all clothing in his shoots belong to the models.
When questioned about the age-appropriateness of the photos of teen and pre-teen girls such as the images above, Murchie said:
“I never take revealing photos of minors. I merely take the photos requested of me by the clients, their parents."
But Roper doesn't buy it.
“Is that an excuse? If a parent wants to exploit their kids then its OK from a photographer to make money from it?”
Girls and women's advocate Roper said modelling decision being made by parents could be damaging to their children in years to come.
Do they not understand the implications for their child or do they not care? Is it about fame ahead of their child’s rights and safety?”
We were recently contacted by one of our supporters, author and freelance writer Jas Rawlinson, who had concerns about content she had come across online. Seek.com, which promotes itself as Australia’s no. 1 jobs, employment, career and recruitment site, was hosting ads calling for ‘male models’ with no experience required, with the promise of making up to $900 per hour. Jas did some digging, and found some disturbing content and information.
Jas recounted what she found in a blog post at www.thoughtsfromjas.com:
It was August last year when I first came across a ‘models wanted’ advert, offering extreme amounts of money to teen boys/young men for – you guessed it – no required experience.
Jumping onto the advertiser’s website (let’s call them ‘SS’), I noticed there was – unsurprisingly- a real lack of information about who their company were and what they offered. Likewise, their social media also showed little information, with barely any engagement or followers – so I decided to do a reverse Google image search of the teen boys featured on their page.
In barely any time at all, I was lead to another social media account with the exact same images – only this time, the young boys were advertised with terms such as ‘youthful’, ‘fresh faced’, ‘milky skin’ and ‘twink’ (a gay slang word that refers to slender, underdeveloped young men with ‘little to no body hair’).
Digging further online, I discovered that not only was the ABN of ‘SS’ also connected to gay pornographic services, but that the images used on Facebook were censored versions of the real photographs – which featured older men performing sexual services on the young men.
When the ad popped up again this month, I was told by SEEK’s Customer Service Fraud and Compliance Analyst, Sarah Grigg, to contact the ACCC instead. Only when I mentioned that the police had been notified – along with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and organisations such as Childwise – did they then change their tune – eventually, removing the ad.
However, the fight to prevent ads of this nature being uploaded continues, as I again found the ad listed only a few days later (after reporting it again, the ad was swiftly removed). SEEK have vowed to try to do more to prevent this business from getting around their systems in the future, but it has to be said – why did they allow a gay pornographic service to falsely advertise to teenage boys in the first place?
There are millions of online sites where people can seek, or sell, sexual services. Teen boys should not be being targeted on a mainstream employment website.
Have you noticed advertisements of this nature on SEEK? Email [email protected] to let them know.
Melinda Tankard Reist in the Sunday Herald Sun
This month at Melbourne Westfield Fountain Gate, Elodie Russell beat 500 other teens to be named Victorian state finalist in the new Dolly Model Search.
The Geelong student and 500 other girls competed in the model search resurrected after 10 years.
Elodie is 14. But girls as young as 13 can enter. The winner will receive a modelling contract, fashion shoot and cover shoot for Dolly, and be a “Dolly ambassador.”
Meet Lydia Jade Turner and Sarah McMahon. Both Lydia and Sarah are directors of BodyMatters, a specialist clinic established to both prevent and treat our current epidemic of disordered eating. They are also founding members of Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation. Today they write about the story which aired on The Sunday Night program last week titled 'thin is in,' which exposed the fashion industry's callous attitude towards women.