'Children as young as seven are being groomed by paedophiles and coaxed into ‘streaming’ sexually explicit pictures and footage of themselves online in exchange for ‘likes’ and ‘friends’ on social media sites, an internet watchdog has warned.
The youngsters, often unaware that what they are filming on a webcam, mobile phone or tablet is explicit, are encouraged by perverts to film themselves to boost their online status and ranking on new social media platforms.
The alarming development has been identified by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) as it reveals that the number of ‘self generated’ child sexual abuse images and videos has soared nearly 400 per cent in just one year.
In a four month period from November 2016 to February 2017 the charity received reports of 1,227 indecent pictures and clips on websites and forums, that were found to have been taken by the child themselves, usually aged between seven and 13.
Over the same period up to February this year, that figure soared to 6,011, representing a 389 per cent increase.
The charity said that for the first time it had found that one in four images were “self-generated”, meaning children were taking pictures of themselves invariably after being coerced, blackmailed or duped by paedophiles.'
Read more: Children as young as seven coaxed into 'streaming' explicit videos
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