herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Teenage girls warned after social media images were hijacked for porn website

Katie Kirwin is disgusted by what was done to her pictures
Katie Kirwin is disgusted by what was done to her pictures

A dozen teenage girls have had their social media profile pictures hijacked for use on a porn site.

The photos involved images of Irish teens as young as 14 and were taken from legitimate social media sites without their permission.

It is now feared that the photos were deliberately uploaded to the porn site by a user.

Details of the incident only emerged when one of the girls was shocked by a remark that she looked very much like a model on a porn site.

A quick investigation revealed that it was her image that was being used.

In another case, a young woman became concerned at comments that an image on the site resembled a friend.

When she went to investigate, she was sickened to realise that several friends had their social media pictures uploaded to the site.

The scale of the activity only emerged when one of the girls contacted Cork's RedFM in a bid to urgently warn other teens.

A full social media alert was then issued so that teenage girls could take steps to protect any images they had uploaded.

Katie Kirwin (19), from Cork, said she was shocked at seeing her photos on the site.

"I was upset yesterday but I am just really angry about it today," she said.

Some of the photos taken from her social media page dated back to when she was just 14.

"Most of my profile photos and almost all the photos I uploaded to social media are there. I want to make it clear that these are photos of my face - the face of a 14-year-old child. Most of them aren't showing anything other than my face."

Katie said none of the photos were in any way provocative.

Disgusting

"Some of the comments [posted on the site] are absolutely disgusting. They are vile," she said.

"One of them comes to mind. I read them out of pure rage. One is: 'I love girls like this. They look so young and probably aren't even 18.' It is sick."

None of the original Irish social media images were provocative and most involved straightforward profile shots which were taken without their consent and displayed against a background of general porn on the site.

Another teenager checked the site when she became concerned that some of her friends had images listed on it.

"I went on to it and I found a load of girls that I knew. I sent it to all of them so they'd know exactly what was going on.

"It is mostly Cork girls, from what I can see. The user hasa codename and all the girls he is putting up are Irish."

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