Thursday 8 December 2016

Teen girls' horror as social media photos appear on porn site

Published 14/01/2016 | 02:30

Cork teenager Katie Kirwin’s photos were hijacked and used
Cork teenager Katie Kirwin’s photos were hijacked and used

A dozen teenage Irish girls said they are horrified after an international pornography site hijacked their social media profile pictures.

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The photos involved images of 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 site.

Photos were then 'harvested' and used without permission to promote the seedy site.

Details of the scam only emerged when one of the girls was perturbed 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 on the site.

In another case, a young woman became concerned at comments that an image on the site resembled one of her friends. When she went to investigate, she was sickened to realise that several of her friend's social media pictures had been uploaded to the site.

The scale of the scam only emerged when one of the women contacted Cork's RedFM in a bid to warn other teenagers. A 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 initially shocked at seeing her photos on the site, but is now furious at what was done.

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

Katie said some of the photos dated back to when she was aged only 14.

"I wish it was just one photo but it was actually a thread of my photos. You would see every photo of me since I was 14-years-old up to just before I turned 19," she said.

"I want to make it clear that these are all 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. What sickened her most was the vile comments posted about them on the site. "Some of the comments are absolutely disgusting. They are vile," she said.

Another woman checked the site when she became concerned some of her friends' images were on it. "It is mostly Cork girls, from what I can see," she said.

Irish Independent

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