One of many incidents on the Internet, became known about a pedophile who forced a 15 year-old girl to be stripped and it was one of these that had been tracked as a few days before something similar had happened in the social network Snog.fm
Gareth Hughes was a businessman who jailed for six years as he managed to deceive the system of the website, signing up with different age and then he approached and picked-up a 14 year-old girl from school, took her to a flat for sex and preyed on her for four years. On the occasion of this incident, the administrators of Snog.fm set new rules about age verification, allowing only those over the age of 18. Specifically, they underlined that “security and safeguarding of our users is our main priority”. However, the new age validation system was not efficient as users could find many ways to violate the rules and pretend another age. AGEify, our new application about age confirmation, could give the solution as it can guarantee that through advanced technology and multiple detection methods, minors will stay away from such incidents.
Moreover, the principals decided to set a trap for “pedophiles” users, by publishing in the website a picture of their reporter when she was under 18 years old and in a few minutes an adult user approached her and suggested a game of truth or dare, insisting to “be friends” on Facebook. The user lied to be 18 years old and demanded from her to be stripped more that eighteen times, insisting “I will keep asking you, if you don’t do it now”. Then, Tony Stower, head of NSPCC, Child Safety Online called the Government to act.
According to this, he mentioned: “This is a chilling example of how adults can use social media to bombard children with sexual messages. We know that online predators use these platforms to groom and abuse young people all too frequently. It is time tech firms got their act together and made their sites safe.” It was also added that no website is completely safe and has effective age verification systems. Therefore, as it mentioned before, that’s the reason why AGEify, was created. It is a good solution to convert Internet to a safer cyberspace, managing to preserve user’s personal data and anonymity. One of our goals is to protect minors from exposure to dangers on the Internet and help websites to become safer.