Pedophiles are targeting young children on YouTube
Pedophiles are targeting young children on YouTube and getting them to create sexualised niche fetish videos in covert ways that parents will find very difficult to detect
New Zealand documentary makerDavid Farrier has exposed a dark world of innocent children making videos for online sex predators in plain sight of Google and everybody else.
The reason potentially thousands of such videos have gone undetected for so long is that they appear - on the surface - to be simply odd and harmless Q&A sessions with obliging and naïve children.
However, when viewed through a lens of certain sexual fetishes,the disturbing truth becomes abundantly clear.
Farrier uncovered YouTube accountswhere men posed as pre-teen and early-teen girls and sent malicious "challenges" to hapless YouTube account victims – usually young females.
The challenge comes in the form of a list of unusual but insidious questions which bring to life microphilia and vore fantasies involving children.
Nine.com.au has sighted videos where minors have given their answers to camera and posted it on YouTube. Unbeknownst to these children, their videos are then harvested into vast playlists for consumption by pedophiles operating inside these fetish communities.
It should be noted that these fetish communities are primarily made up of consenting adults who have no interest in minors.
"If you're a pedophile there are kids galore on YouTube you can search for, which is disturbing in itself," Farrier told nine.com.au.
"What I find about these videos that is particularly worrying is that they are custom-made for adults who are posing as kids."
Documentary-maker Farrier claimed this particular pattern of online grooming was "reasonably widespread" and he was sure that Australian children will have been targeted and used.
Children are asked to describe what they would do in various scenarios if they were giant-sized and discovered a tiny man in their midst. Many questions are leading, and geared towards the giant crushing, trapping or eating the Lilliputian-sized figures.
"These questions are really weird. I don't know why people keep sending me all these weird question," exclaims one pre-teen girl.
Girls, often appearing on camera with another friend, giggle and laugh as they oblige the hidden predator's carefully constructed questions and manipulating requests. Many victims are asked to show to the camera the kinds of shoes they would wear while crushing the tiny-sized human.
Placed in the context of online grooming, the clips make for uncomfortable viewing – even more so when reading the comment sections underneath many of the YouTube videos.
Circling like sharks are other YouTube accounts, often displaying a profile pictuee of a young girl, but clearly a man in disguise. The young girls who have made a video are applauded and often encouraged to take on more specific and elaborate tasks.
Farrier said it was not uncommon for him to find men asking for the child's Skype identity or email address in the comments section.
"In my mind, these are other pedophiles who have seen a child already taken some of the bait for someone else, and now they might give out their Skype name as well.
"This is happening completely in plain sight. There are children out there making videos for pedophiles and no-one seems to have noticed that yet, which I found incredibly disturbing."
Farrier explained to nine.com.au that a member of the microphilia fetish community had tipped him off to the story, claiming he was tired of flagging up concerns to Google who had done nothing.
Nine.com.au has seen YouTube accounts complaining in the comments section, and warning young children that their content was being made for pedophiles with particular fetishes.
Google told nine.com.au that over 400 hours of new content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, and that it does not comment on individual videos.
"YouTube has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual content involving minors," Gustaf Brusewitz, head of Google Public Relations, Australia and New Zealand, said.
Google's child endangerment policy claims it will take down YouTube content featuring minors who are unintentionally acting provocatively, such as young children engaged in dare videos.
Farrier told nine.com.au he had a similar corporate response from the tech giant. He said to some degree he sympathised with YouTube because of the difficult nature of detecting and stopping the actions of online groomers.
"YouTube's main goal in life is to have successful videos on the internet and to get clicks so that they can host ads at the front of them and make money.
"It's my opinion that Google probably doesn't care if there is a video out there that looks completely innocent, like a lot of these videos do."
YouTube is typically seen as a very child-friendly medium, Farrier cautioned.
"I don't know the solution except for spreading the word and making people incredibly aware that this is a scene going on in YouTube."
Nine.com.au has contacted AFP Child Protection Operations unit for comment.