How Do New Sex Offenders Enter Online Paedophile Communities?

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new-sex-offenders

The dark web is the hidden part of the internet sufficing the rise and extension of illegal activities. The sex offenders thrive there like anything as the online paedophile communities keeps on growing. All of this is possible because the dark web comprises a collection of intemperately encrypted websites, social networks and forums. The individuals carrying on the child sexual abuse or are involved in it somehow meet and interact on the dark web where they share indecent images and support each other. Some of them even put forth advice on the various abuse techniques with almost complete anonymity. This provides online pedophiles with a good resource that would help them learn the various skills and become even more dangerous.

What Is Paedophilia?

Paedophilia or alternatively termed as “Pedophilia” is a psychiatric disorder where an adult or adolescents experience an exclusive sexual attraction towards small children or teenagers. On the contrary, pedophiles are adults who are attracted towards the prepubescent children. Not all paedophiles are harmful and cause child sex abuse or child exploitation. They are just born differently or have different preferences. Although the majority of the paedophiles intend to cause harm to children some way or the other.

However, some of the law enforcement agencies employ the undercover officers who would enter these spaces and pose as sex offenders for gaining some valuable information on the techniques employed by the online paedophile group. But these child pornography communities do not come into view quite often. However, some insights into the dark web pedophilia communities have been achieved. 

Most of the online paedophile communities are governed by stringent rules. For example, not to provide personal details in the bid to preserve the security. Also, these online communities consist of members having varying levels of the offending experience and as well as expertise. One of the most striking virtuous paedophile groups is the ones that identify as “newbies” or someone with little to no experience in the field of paedophilia or even interacting with the dark web users.

A close watch on the newbies and their urge on the online pedophiles can aid in the determination of the experience levels of the sex offenders. It is the initial step for paedophile hunting. This provides an insight on how they actually progress from a noob to a prolific child sex offender. Additionally, understanding these groups of people through their footsteps is of great help to the undercover agents while portraying realistic identities. The easiest way to enter the online paedophile communities is by interacting with the high-level offenders who are highly distrustful and always wary of the possible police presence and pretending to be a newbie in the field.

What Are The Causes of Paedophilia?

The researchers state that there are a couple of causes of being paedophilic such as:

  • The first and the foremost that people believe to be the cause of a paedophilic is “born that way”. Many people believe that the orientation of the pedophiles could be the cause they are different.
  • Some others believe that the reason behind paedophilia and its practice is due to some sort of mental illness that makes reference to a “mental health issue” and requires mental health support.
  • Many people link the paedophilic activities to the abuse histories or abuse theories that the “supposed” victims built up in their minds.
  • Another set of people strongly goes by the notion that the paedophiles are what they are by choice.

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Steps Taken By New Sex Offenders To Enter Into Online Paedophile Communities

The most common moves that these new sex offenders take to enter the online paedophile communities are “greetings” and “sign-offs”. Apart from these, there are a couple more that we have listed below:

  • Expressing Their Eagerness To Join The Online Child Pornography Communities

The first thing that the newbie virtuous paedophiles do is to show how much they want to join a specific online paedophile group. They would support their eagerness with a good number of reasons like interest in sexual abuse of children. This would often include interest in a specific age group or age groups, categories of indecent media or the willingness to find out other like-minded people to interact with.

  • Stating The Affiliation and Affinity Towards A Particular Community

The newbie dark web pedophiles often express their tenure in a particular online paedophile community and state their interests and ideals. Often it has been seen that these new individuals state their sexual interests in children and share their experiences on the same. Another common strategy that they maintain is de-lurking, wherein the newbies unveil that they have been present in the community or the group passively for a while and it is now that they have decided to participate. This permits them to demonstrate their earlier exposure to the particular community, their understanding of the practices and the rules. 

  • Appreciating An Individual or A Pedophile Community

The new sex offenders get to the notice in a particular online community by expressing their gratitude and appreciation to an individual or a community as a whole. There are instances where they praise and compliment others. 

  • Expressing Their Lack of Offending Experience

The newbie virtuous paedophiles often express their newness openly aside from the explicit statements that they make on the online paedophile communities. Sometimes, they request tolerance from the other high-level members of the same community.

  • Demonstrating Their Benefit of Being A Member of The Community

The contemporary members or the dark web paedophile willing to enter into paedophilia tend to demonstrate the ways they can be of great help to the community. For instance, they may offer to submit indecent media or other proven demonstrations of their skills and services. This may also include drawing of the hyper-realistic indecent images or clicked pictures.

  • Stating Their Limitations

The new members might also explain how they are limited to certain community expectations or the requirements by stating that they lack expertise or experience. They may also state their incompetence in possession of the indecent media and they are quite apologetic about it.

  • Asking For Support or Guidance

Sometimes, the new offenders ask for guidance or help regarding a specific problem of online or offline offending. Most of the support often is concerned with accessing the children, solving the technical issues with sharing the child pornographic media online and the moral guidelines. 

Symbols and Logos Pedophiles Use To Identify Sexual Preferences

A couple of symbols and logos are prevalent in the pedophile groups that they use to justify or establish their sexual preferences. The pedophiles use these identification logos to recognize one another and distinguish their sexual preferences. For specifically identifying the pedophile’s gender preference, the members of the pedophilic organizations encourage the utilization of the descriptions such as “girllove”, “boylove”, and “childlove”. These symbols have also been formed into pendants and etched into the rings and coins. 

Below are the symbols and logos with a brief description of what they symbolize.

boylover-logo-blogoBoyLover Logo (BLogo): This logo represents a small blue spiral-shaped triangle surrounded by a triangle. The tiny triangle represents a “small boy”, and the large triangle represents an adult man. 

little-boy-lover-logo-lblogo  Little Boy Lover Logo (LB Logo): It is a variation of the BLogo that too embodies a tiny spiral-shaped triangle within a larger triangle. The corners of the LB Logo are rounded, resembling scribbles of a young boy. 

girllover-logo-glogo

  GirlLover Logo (GLogo): This logo represents a small heart surrounded by an enormous heart. It symbolizes the relationship between an adult male or female and a minor girl.

childlover-logo-clogo

ChildLover Logo (CLogo): This logo represents a butterfly and symbolizes non-preferential gender child abusers. The Childlove Online Media Activism Logo (CLOMAL) is a general-purpose logo used by individuals using online media like blogs and webcasts.

Encounters of Pedophile Symbols And Feds

Law enforcement has come across a couple of incidences where these symbols have been used along with unrelated terms with pedophilia so that they avoid fed suspicion. Here are two of a kind:

  • A case involving the Jacksonville Department in relation to innocent images experienced such an occurrence. FBI had seized the computer of a subject. A Computer Analysis Response Team forensic examiner came across an unfamiliar symbol that was integrated into a website banner named “ATBOYS.COM. The “A” in the “ATBOYS” represents the BoyLove symbol and written as follows: TBOYS.com with the boylover sign at the beginning. Furthermore, it was determined that “ATBOYS” was an acronym for “Attracted To Boys”. These symbols have also been found on one of the advertised banners on boylover.net.
  • This is perhaps the second incident where the California Department of Justice alerted FBI Sacramento about an unusual marking on a coin. The marking research concluded that the BoyLover logo (BLogo) was imprinted on the front side of the coin, and the back of the coin contained an engraved phrase “Kids Love Pedos”.
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5 Busted Pedophile Groups That Once Came To Light

There are numerous pedophile groups that operate online and offline. But only a few come into broad daylight. Here are a few of the busted paedophile groups or pedophile forums.

  • Elysium: The “Elysium” is a dark web website that ran as one of the pedophile forums. There were over 111,000 user accounts when Europol busted the website on the 13th of July, 2017. Criminals and pedophiles on the dark web had rigorously used the platform for exchanging pedopornographic content. The forum was also used to conduct meet and greet with the children to cause physical, sexual abuse. It also supported languages like German, Spanish, Italian and French.
  • Boylover: This is a clearnet version of an Amsterdam-based pedophile forum that Europol took down in March 2011 under “Operation Rescue”. The operation began in 2007. At the time of the takedown, the website boasted 70,000 users. 
  • Kids The Light Of Our Lives: It was an internet chat room that used to feature vile images of children who had been subjected to horrific sexual abuse. It also included the live video streams of child abuse. The website’s mission was to deliver “low-cost, high impact initiatives that prevent and deter pedophiles from exploiting children online.”
  • Playpen: Playpen was a blatant child pornographic website where the primary users had been dark web sex offenders. It was created back in August 2014. In February 2015, the law enforcement agency had taken down the website under “Operation Pacifier”. At the time of the takedown, the website had more than 215,000 users and stored 23,000 sexually explicit videos and images of children. Many of the children are even toddlers.
  • Hurt 2 The Core / Love 2 The Core: This was a hurtcore based website, also termed Website 21, that featured child abuse on the dark web. The website was on the Tor network and could be accessed via 4chan. As the name suggests, the content involves sexual assault of children, babies and toddlers undergoing a lot of pain, physically and mentally. It had been long taken down, and some of the threads include topics such as “Producing kiddie porn for dummies”, “Toddler childporn star”, “Crying rape”, and “Need ideas for blackmailed girl.” The website H2TC averaged a total of 326 fresh accounts per day with a per-day post count of 160. It also had a daily video download count of 15,000.

Who Are Undercover Paedophile Hunters? Do They Violate Human Rights?

The online paedophile groups and the child sex forums conduct illegal activities like share child abuse materials (videos, images and texts), show their interest on what exactly they like about child abuse and are eager to conduct something physically brutal. There are teams of people who are always in search of these criminals who look for an opportunity to cause a crime. 

The sole way to get to these criminals is via the places that they mostly infest such as the online pedophile groups and online paedophile forums. The hunters for these paedophiles have their own groups often termed as the “Paedophile Hunting Groups” and are named differently. For instance, Wolf Pack Hunters is one of the oldest self-styled pedophilic hunting groups that is a Scottish organization. There are various ways in which the paedophile hunters catches the sex offenders

In most of the cases, they pose as children on various social media platforms and also in the online chatrooms. They allure the child sexual offenders to a plausible illegal sexual encounter. Then the hunters confront the suspects and then report the alleged crime to the police. They also post video footage of the confrontation on social media platforms.

Sometimes, the paedophile hunters are newbies whose operations need a little excess than a camera phone and broadband. They employ crude methods but undoubtedly are popular luring hundreds and thousands of followers to their social media pages. There are instances of the pedophile hunting groups to have assisted the law enforcement officials and help them bring the child sex offenders to justice.

The Supreme Court had put forward a rule stating – 

There is no right to engage in paedophilia and children’s rights must be protected so decoy evidence can be relied upon to obtain a conviction.

The background of passing this law by the Supreme Court goes with the case of a child sexual abuser named Mr. Mark Sutherland. He had been arrested back in August 2018. He had conducted offences related to the sexually motivated communications with a male teenager aged 13 years. Mark was unknown of the fact that the teen he had been rigorously chatting with was an adult member of a pedophile hunting community named “Groom Resisters Scotland”.

Mark had fixed a meeting with the teen and when he went to meet him, he actually met with the members of the community who had filmed the entire encounter and had posted the footage online. Mark was then arrested on the spot, convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for two long years. Following this, the accused had appealed his conviction initially to the High Court which got rejected. Next, he had appealed to the Supreme Court. The appeals straightforward were in correspondence to the arguments that Groom Resistors Scotland had breached his rights to a private life under the Article 8 ECHR. On the 3rd of June 2020, The Supreme Court had heard the case and the judgement was passed on the 15th of July, 2020. This states that the pedophile hunter groups do not breach any person’s human rights.

Thus, it can be concluded that different combinations of moves taken by the new sex offenders reveal that there is no single type of sex offending and deep web pedophile. These newbies approach the communities against a variety of reasons utilizing different tactics in the process. A study on the various dark web websites reveal that the number of visits earned by the child abuse websites is gigantic as compared to the drug forums and contraband markets. The study has also provided an insight where it is seen that over four out of five hidden services site on Tor is solely to the websites dedicated to child pedophilic materials. The anonymity provided by the dark web helps the online paedophile network to keep behind the veil but this does not mean that they are impossible to trace down by the feds. In case, the language of a particular community is known to the feds or can be analyzed, it would be of great help to the cops.


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