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Sweetie helps uncover child predators

Child webcam abuse is a harsh reality for many children in the Philippines and other developing countries. Child rights group, Terre De Hommes is taking steps to fight the growing phenomenon.

Child Predator
Sweetie Project

http://www.cnet.com/news/meet-sweetie-a-virtual-girl-created-to-target-child-predators

Sweetie is a virtual ten year old female designed by the Terre De Hommes organization to attract child predators. In a two month operation Sweetie attracted over 1,000 offenders.

The operation took place in an Amsterdam warehouse were users controlled Sweetie's facial expressions, movements and conversation. Just moments after the program became live it logged hundreds of messages.

According to researchers, webcam child abuse is on the path to becoming a billion dollar industry. Often webcam encounters are considered less dangerous than physical interactions and almost any request will be granted to paying customers.

The World Wide Web is a vast source of information that offers users countless opportunities to interact. And with all the benefit that the Internet offers, it also harbors many dangers. Webcam sex abuse has the potential to make children casualties in a technological revolution.

Often those suspected of the abuse are rarely prosecuted and offenders that are punished often receive little or no jail time.

Child sex abuse is not exclusive to developing countries. The Sweetie operation offers priceless insight into the world of illicit Internet activity. And may be just the beginning of a movement to save thousands of children from a life of internet exploitation.