Do you know what webcam child sex tourism (WCST) is? It is when an adults pay to direct and view live-streaming video footage of children in another country performing sex acts in front of a webcam.
In an effort to expose and put an end to WCTS, a Dutch non-profit recently created a lifelike 10-year-old Filipino girl named Sweetie…a digital decoy. Sweetie was placed in public Internet chat rooms and investigators waited for her to be approached. Her picture and fake profile was online for 10 weeks. In that time, Sweetie was approached by 20,000 people. She was asked how old she was, what she liked to do on camera, and how much she charged.
Of the 20,000 possible predators, 1,000 of them were identified (one was a woman). The 1,000 were from 71 different countries, and 254 of them were from America. CBS News stated that it remained to be seen if any of the 1,000 people identified will be prosecuted. There are some that say, “Is it against the law to want to have a sex act performed by a virtual girl?” Did they know the girl was fake? Should it matter?
A glimpse of some of the online communications adults had with Sweetie:
I wonder how many young people will get mobile devices this Christmas with video capabilities. I wonder how many will send inappropriate videos to their boyfriends or girlfriends or even to their “FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS.”