“Bait out” online pages are sites where users share nude images of their schoolmates who are then often bullied. According to Child Net, teenagers use the called “bait out” technique by setting up groups on social media and allowing access just once a sexual image or gossip is shared with the page owners. Otherwise, this person can’t have access to the social group.
This disturbing practice is particularly targeted at girls, who can face ongoing bullying as a result. The report from ChildNet verifies that half of those teens who completed the survey said they had seen their friends circulating nude pictures of someone they knew, without authorization and just as a revenge.
A third of the teens between 13 to 17-year-olds who participated in the survey said they had seen someone starting up a “bait out” page.
Moreover, researchers also found cases of teenagers using photos on a fake profile to target them, or creating groups or conversations about them and excluding the victim/schoolmate being bullied.
Appearing naked in a “bait out” group as a teen can have very significant impact for some individuals and develop into a huge trauma. It is considered a real bullying scenario – very embarrassing and humiliating. Moreover, sharing vulgar images of a child is illegal in the UK, even if the person doing it is themselves as a child.
Some years ago, the technology we have now wasn’t there and, therefore, attitudes were different. Unfortunately, with today’s generations, everything is accessible and the amount of information and technology devices we have around us is massive. For instance, statistics released by Kent Police show a tripling of crime reports for sexual messages between 2015 and 2017.
Most importantly, if you or your child comes across any of these pages, they should be immediately reported to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) who will be able to deal with the case and work with Internet providers to take off offensive images and content.
How to Prevent and Find Out If Your Child is Being a Victim of a “Bait Out” Group
The main thing to do in order to prevent your child of being a victim from one of these “bait out” groups, is to get to know about the apps that their child is using on-line. Check out our Internet Safety Trainings for this and learn everything about apps and dangers online.
However, in case your child tells you that inappropriate and unapproved images of them have been shared online by either themselves or someone else, you need to take action by doing some of these things:
- Make a report to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) – they can help you by deleting any images that were posted online and dealing with the situation.
- Tell your child that explaining it to you is the best thing they could have done.
- Keep calm and don’t blame – children and young people do make mistakes as part of growing up.
- As I also mentioned above, report any criminal content that has been shared that is considered child sexual abuse related – to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). They can also help if you have with getting images removed and take forward investigations relating to the case.
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