A mother who spent several days posing as an 11-year-old girl online recently detailed how she and a team of investigators used cutting edge technology to expose the prevalence of child predators on the internet.
Roo Powell, whose Medium essay, titled “I’m a 37-Year-Old Mom & I Spent Seven Days Online as an 11-Year-Old Girl. Here’s What I Learned,” was written using a pseudonym and viewed over 7 million times and translated into four languages, recently detailed the extent of their investigations into the prevalence of pedophiles preying on children online.
Powell is the head of creative and leads the Special Projects Team at Bark, a tech company that uses artificial intelligence to detect grooming and sexual predation and helps parents monitor text messages, YouTube posts, emails, and other social networks their children might be using.
In a video released last Thursday, Powell explained that the abuses that occur online mostly go unreported and happen quietly. To gain greater understanding on the depth of the problem, her team created a fictional 15-year-old girl named Libby Connelly, complete with a believable back story and social media identity, and then documented how long it would take for a predator to reach out to her.
Using photo manipulation, the Bark team managed to make Powell look two decades younger and used that image as the fictional girl since they could not use a photo of an actual child. The team coordinated their efforts with law enforcement agencies at every level of government.
“Within the first hour of posting on Libby’s accounts seven adult men contacted her,” Powell explains in the video. “By the end of nine days, that number was 92.”
“The conversations ranged in severity, from making sexual comments to sharing and requesting explicit photos and videos, to manipulation and threats.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter