Photos of school kids appear on ‘paedophile website’ after being harvested from social media | Daily Mail Online

Photos of British schoolchildren as young as five are being harvested from social media and shared across a Russian ‘paedophile website’, it has been revealed.

Images of pupils from eight primary and secondary schools in Scotland were found on the website described as a global ‘meeting place for paedophiles’ that attracts 20million visitors each month. 

The photos were taken from official school social media accounts and posted by anonymous users who bragged about being sexually attracted to children. 

Photos of British schoolchildren as young as five are being harvested from social media and shared across a Russian ‘paedophile website’

Pupils from Glasgow Gaelic School, Glasgow’s St Mungo’s Academy, Our Lady’s RC Primary in Perth, Stirling High School and nearby primaries St Ninian’s and Gargunnock, featured on the site, an STV News investigation found.

The photos were innocent, showing kids’ academic and sporting achievements, but they featured alongside extreme images of babies and children from around the world.

In many of the images, children were holding certificates with their names on, meaning they could be easily tracked down.

Sinister: The photos were uploaded by anonymous users who boasted about being attracted to children. Pictured: A user named Andrea shared a folder titled ‘Boys in Socks 03’

One user has posted almost 6000 photos and states being sexually attracted to children as young as nine.    

Another pervert boasted they ‘loved girls under 13’ and described them as ‘beautiful creatures’.

The site, run from the city of St Petersburg, was described by US law enforcement as as ‘popular for trading child pornography’.

The Scottish Government said there were no nationwide rules around schools’ use of social media. 

A spokesman said councils should ‘fully exercise responsibility for the care, safety and welfare of all pupils in school’.

They added: ‘Internet services and their regulation is a reserved matter and the Scottish Government is fully engaged in the UK Government’s current consultation on proposals to establish in law, a duty of care for service providers to their users as well as creating an independent regulator that will hold tech companies and providers of online services to account for tackling online harms.’ 

In a statement, the owners of the website told STV News: ‘The site policy forbids child pornography being posted and as a result there is none of that on site unless something is uploaded between moderation sessions.

‘As there is no child porn on site, the site itself can’t be a trading forum nor a paedophiles’ meeting place.’

Police Scotland said it was not yet investigating as it hadn’t received any complaints from the public. 

But Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, of Safer Communities, said: ‘Whenever we receive information to suggest that a child or young person is at risk of abuse we will pursue and target those individuals involved, collaborating with a range of partners across the UK and around the world to bring these criminals to justice.  The internet is no hiding place for abusers

Children were pictured holding certificates with their names on them, meaning they could be easily tracked down 

‘I would urge parents and carers to visit the website www.thinkuknow.co.uk which provides good, concise information and advice about online safety.’ 

A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman urged schools to take better safety precautions.

‘How very sad and shocking that innocent images used by our schools on public websites and their social channels to celebrate success are being stolen in this way. 

‘Unfortunately there’s nothing that we can do to completely eradicate this risk – but schools can help by pixilating names on certificates that could lead to identification and parents have a role to play to make sure their children are following internet safety guidelines.’

Stirling Council said it had set up a group to make sure precautions are taken to protect children.

A spokesperson said: ‘A working group has been undertaking a review of these protocols to ensure the highest standards are maintained, and updated guidance relating to social media is due to be issued for the start of the next school year.’

Perth & Kinross Council said its guidance about the use of pupils’ images had not been broken – but added it was ‘unfortunate’ the images had been used ‘entirely inappropriately’. 

Photos of school kids appear on ‘paedophile website’ after being harvested from social media

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