Elite pedophiles use tiktok to traffic children

Elite pedophiles use tiktok to traffic children

TikTok provides opportunities for child traffickers to pimp children, a youth therapist has warned.

dr. Katie Guin has spent the past 10 years providing in-home family therapy to young people and their families in Louisiana. She is the regional director of the Center for Children and Family.

Theepochtimes.com reports: The need for mental health services among youth has skyrocketed in the past two years, according to Guinn, who said she is seeing more and more children who have been victims of sex trafficking. Defining this term, she said that “trafficking for the purpose of sex includes engaging in sexual activity against a person’s will for the purpose of exchanging goods”. The transaction is not always related to money, but can also include medicine, food or shelter, for example.

As a result of the COVID pandemic, Guinn said a relatively new concept has emerged that she calls the “cybersex store.” The goal of luring children and adults into sex trafficking remains the same, but in this approach, she said, “everything is virtual.” Websites and various phone messaging applications are used to communicate with users, who are often minors.

Victims and participants can upload content, such as photos or videos, and the transaction takes place using cryptocurrency. According to Guinn, “This new empire of human trafficking is incredibly difficult to track and learn about because it is constantly evolving.”

What is known, she said, is that children are particularly sensitive. “For a child or other victim to be vulnerable to sex trafficking,” Guin said, “there must first be vulnerability.” Vulnerability can be defined as “something missing in the child’s life that needs to be filled”. This void or need can come in many forms, she explained. “It can be relationship, survival, love, substance abuse, shelter, food, stability and more”.

“In the last three years,” Guin said, “the biggest need we’ve seen in kids is connection, because kids have been incredibly isolated as a result of the pandemic. She identified connection as a human need that is as important to a child as eating or breathing. “People need connection, especially children,” she said.

Pimping on TikTok

Social media has become the primary way people connect. However, according to Guinn, all forms of social media can be used to contact and potentially recruit victims for sex trafficking, including Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. But TikTok — the hugely popular app — is “the most aggressive,” she said, explaining that “TikTok’s algorithm is incredibly aggressive and easy to use.”

“The app tracks how much time is spent on it, how the user engages with the video, whether it’s shared, commented or liked, and determines which videos will appear next on the user’s feed,” she explained. “The user’s interaction with the video determines their custom algorithm”.

“Traffickers will create videos, posts, or different types of content that talk about the lifestyle associated with human trafficking in a very overt and offensive way,” Guinn said. “They glamorize it, making it very desirable to a child who lacks so much.” For example, it will show things like women at parties, enjoying drinking, eating and flaunting expensive gifts. For a child, it all looks very tempting”.

Once a child watches an attractive video, she said, “TikTok’s algorithm will shuffle similar videos to share more of that content with the child user, further glamorizing a very dangerous lifestyle.”

It’s part of a larger process that “naturally begins to fill in the vulnerability,” Guinn said. “The child may become more motivated to message the person responsible for the video, to engage with that person in hopes of participating in this lifestyle they’ve observed and fulfilling their needs.”

“Inadvertently, they can easily become part of the sex trade, simply with the intention of satisfying their needs, but often cannot find a way out,” she warned.

“TikTok provides constant exposure to things that children would never be exposed to, and it can desensitize, normalize behavior and potentially make a child more vulnerable to the approach of traffickers.” These traffickers are trained to spot and exploit children’s vulnerabilities, and Tik Tok has made it easier than ever.”

“Child pimping can happen for free on TikTok,” Guinn said. “There is no doubt that [the video hosting service] can play a harmful role in the potential recruitment and pimping of children for sex trafficking.”

More communication is needed

Guinn acknowledged that it is incredibly difficult to monitor children’s use of TikTok. “It’s scary because it could be pimping kids through their phones without anyone knowing.”

Although the parent’s reaction is to back off, he says, removing the app from the device or confiscating the child’s phone is not a surefire solution. “Kids will find a way to get what they want. Children are incredibly resourceful and will find a way. Most likely using a friend’s phone at school”.

“Many times they are the most vulnerable victims of sexual abuse, substance abuse, destroyed homes or similar situations,” she said. And by taking away a child’s phone, “a parent could create a space that is not confidential or communicative — which is not helpful when all you want to do is protect your child.”

“Remember, kids often want to get their needs met, and TikTok has provided instant access to unhealthy alternatives to fill that vulnerability,” Guinn said. In her opinion, the best armor against such evil is excessive communication and increased awareness. Sex trafficking is something that needs to be talked about no matter how uncomfortable it is to do so, she said.

“Increase communication and spread awareness, not fear,” Guinn said. “Overcommunicate with your kids, knowing where they are and what they’re doing, asking them who their friends are and talking about what’s on their phones.”

“I’d rather overcommunicate and have a confident teenager than be in the dark,” Guinn said.

TikTok did not respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment. Last month, the app set a default time limit of one hour for users under 18 due to growing concerns about the platform’s effect on children.

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