Let's think about our relation to the computer and the Internet. Can we imagine our work, our life without a computer? What everything would be different? Do we have a profile on some social networks - such as Face-book, Twitter, Instagram? What are we publishing on these networks? Devices connected to the Internet are a tool for human activity. They can help, to simplify your life, but they can also hurt their users. You can simply compare social networks with knife: every day we can slice bread, using knife, or put some butter on it, but knife might also hurt and kill. It depends on what it is used, and how it is used. The objective of my contribution is to warn of the risks of exploiting the internet network for committing crime on child victims. A specific target group of potentially highly vulnerable victims are children, who could be victims of a crime of intimacy, human dignity, and possibly sexually motivated crime. Unfortunately, the Internet environment, through its easy accessibility, recruits child victims of moral crimes, cyber- bullying with a sexual subtext in which children's intimate images are abused. Recall that the child, means a person below the age of 18 years.
Abuse of the internet network of child victims has different forms. It can be a cyber-bullying-deliberate aggressive behavior by an individual or a group through electronic media to a person who cannot defend against the attacks at the moment; sexting - the distribution of text messages, photos or videos with sexual content or cyber grooming - the use of social networks to establish confidential relationships with victims who are later lured to a personal meeting aimed at sexual or other abuse of the victim. With the inventiveness of the human spirit there are almost unlimited possibilities of forms of Internet abuse to the detriment of the other people. Let us consider of the different possibilities of child abuse, which are based on the evaluation of the actual case reports.
a. The offender finds photos on social networks and borrows an "appearance" of a girl or boy, uses intimate photos and sends them to a minor child and asks for "exchange" intimate photographs. If child sends him intimate photos, after then the perpetrator is forcing the child into a personal encounter where often in to sexual abuse of the child.
b. An offender with an altered identity, is trying to set love communication, to gain voluntarilysent intimate photographs, for example in underwear, whereby the threats of their disclosure by means of exacerbating the victim to send even more intimate photographs.
c. The offender shoots a girl in an erotic position - a girlfriend who is not yet 18 years of age can also use the photos that the girl has shot for him and the offender publishes her intimate photos after the conflict.
d. The offender takes photos of child in erotic positions to sell these photos.
Abuse of intimate child photos is not a complex issue in the currently developed cyberspace, offenders draw on the new dimension of young generation communication - virtual communication. This is a brief conversation when the child gains very quickly confidence in an unknown person. The offender may be the person, who child knows and has confidence in. The offender also does not text just with one person but tries also other contacts, different conversations. Then it may happen that the victims of one offender can be tens or even hundreds. Misuse of intimate child photos is criminal in most countries, for example in the Czech Republic, the following offenses are defined which may be related to sexual abuse of the child or his intimate photographs:
a) Sexual coercion.
b) Production and other handling of child pornography.
c) Abuse of a child for the production of pornography.
d) Seduction into sexual intercourse.
e) Establishment of illegal contacts with a child.
f) Trafficking in human beings.
Investigating this crime is difficult and it is very sensitive to the child. Helpful professionals can prevent of creating another victim. They can prevent crime by educating children, counseling, and other processes.
A 14-year-old girl turned asked her teacher for advice. The girl broke up with the same old boy, whom she had photographed in her underwear. The boy asks for photos to be revealed, without lingerie, and threatens to publish photos that the girl sent him on a voluntary basis. The girl was afraid of the reaction of parents and friends. In this case, a helping professional should recognize the risk and explain to the girl the principle of safe communication on the Internet or when to contact the police for help. The most common question for parents and educators is how to effectively protect children from abuse and harm through the Internet. Does it make sense for children to disable Internet communication and to disable social networking? Of course not. There is no need to protect children from the Internet, but from people who abuse it to harm another person, in our case the child. Therefore, it is important to set the child's rules for Internet communication, to look at the child's life even in its virtual form, and mainly to talk about the risks and pitfalls of social networking, as well as about the risks of disclosing information on these networks.
The child should know that, the people on the Internet do not have to write the truth. The child should know that he is not supposed to provide sensitive information about himself and his family and that he should not meet strangers from social networks without parental agreement. Keep in mind the stories of children from abroad, who have committed suicide, after experience publishing their intimate footage on social networks or other forms of cyber-bullying. Prevention of the use of the Internet and social networks should not be underestimated; its importance is still increasing with the growing interest of children and adults in forms of virtual communication. It’s about teaching children to communicate in a virtual environment safely.
The contribution came in the framework of the Specific Research 2016, announced by the Institute of Social Work of the University of Hradec Kralove. The project name is Child at Risk of Social Networks.