According to a new report by Stanford University and the Wall Street Journal, photo-sharing app, Instagram is the main social media network used by pedophile networks to promote and sell content showing child s3xual abuse.
According to the Journal, a simple search for s3xually explicit keywords specifically referencing children leads to accounts that use these terms to advertise content showing s3xual abuse of minors.
The profiles often “claim to be driven by the children themselves and use overtly s3xual pseudonyms”, the article detailed.
While not specifically saying they sell these images, the accounts do feature menus with options, including in some cases specific s3x acts.
“Large networks of accounts that appear to be operated by minors are openly advertising self-generated child s3xual abuse material for sale,” said researchers at the US university’s Cyber Policy Center.
“Instagram is currently the most important platform for these networks with features like recommendation algorithms and direct messaging that help connect buyers and sellers.”
Stanford researchers also saw offers for videos with bestiality and self-harm.
“At a certain price, children are available for in-person ‘meetings’,” the article continued.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Instagram acknowledged problems within its security services and said it had created a task force to address the issues raised.
In March 2022, pension and investment funds filed a complaint against Meta for having “turned a blind eye” to human trafficking and child s3x abuse images on its platforms.