In 2019, Twitter quietly changed its terms of service to permit discussion about “attraction towards minors” with the proviso that “they don’t promote or glorify child sexual exploitation in any way”.
This change was pushed by forensic psychs who treat “minor attracted people” and wanted a forum for this group to discuss their issues. Child protection and abuse prevention experts were not consulted, because we would never have endorsed this change.
It is manifestly unsafe to platform unmonitored public conversations between large groups of pedophiles. The sexual desires and social inclusion of pedophiles have been prioritized by Twitter over the safety of children on the platform or in the community.
In the last year, pedophile networks on Twitter have exploded, including users who endorse contact offending (defined as physical contact in a sexual context between the subject and the victim), justify child sexual abuse material, and demand access to child sexual abuse dolls. I had to report a user who states he is attracted to children, advocates for contact offending against children, and has an image of him with a child in his bio pic.
I have no confidence whatsoever that Twitter will take action against this user, let alone refer his details to relevant child protection and law enforcement authorities.
Meanwhile, Twitter’s head of product has endorsed encrypting Twitter’s DM function – what else could Twitter do to make its platform more user friendly for pedophiles? For over twenty years, tech companies have buried their heads in the sand when it comes to online pedophilia. Pedophiles need an early intervention, treatment and support for behaviour change. They do not need a public forum to discuss their sexual attraction to children.
(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread of twitter user Michael Salter @mike_salter)
(Featured Image source)
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