Predators on the web

Exposed: The ‘legal paedo’ sites

On a message board just a few clicks from Google’s home page, a furious onlinevuser launches into a rant against how society oppresses “his people”.

“No longer will we lurk in the shadows” he rages, blasting: “Our love is no different”.

Dozens rush to back him, applauding his statement. All agree that as a group, their time is about to come.

Yet these aren’t gay rights campaigners or even a persecuted religious minority.

This is a sick community of self-confessed paedophiles talking on a new wave of “legal only” websites where sex offenders preach their twisted vision of love between adults and children.

The forums are where adults swap information on how to “escalate” grooming a child into sexual activity 

They even share tips on how to stop parents suspecting what they are up to, and on how to send images and videos of child abuse over the web without getting caught.

They also offer mutual support and a sense of community — and a haven for adults to lust over pictures of children.

One group of users even sickeningly agrees that a child actor from a heartbreaking NSPCC clip about child abuse is “hot-looking”.

Most shocking of all is the array of images being posted in forums with names such as “Paedo Playground”.

Many are clearly family snaps, possibly stolen from Facebook, and feature naked children, youngsters in swimming costumes, school uniforms, young boys wearing women’s lingerie, and nearly nude children fighting or kissing.

Users discuss their preferred AOA — Age Of Attraction — refer to each other affectionately as “Childlovers” and dub their interest in small children “Girl Love” or “Boy Love”.

The brazen paedophiles even post symbols to identify whether their interest is in boys or girls, and of what exact age group, displaying these images on their online profiles.

Experts have dubbed this new generation of evil sites an “evolution” in the way paedophiles operate online.

There are thought to be dozens of such sites, each with thousands of members.

One such forum has more than 100,000 live topics in English alone, with more than a thousand members online at that moment. Many have large sections in other languages.

Increasingly aware that pages which host illegal images of child abuse are now quickly closed down by police, today’s paedophiles are starting new sites where they only share pictures which aren’t technically classed as “indecent” under UK law.

By doing so, they are free to speak about their perverted desires, and to swap images of youngsters they lust over knowing the sites cannot be taken down by police.

The communities on these sites spend their days discussing their belief that sex with children is normal and natural.

Many have compared it to a modern-day version of the foul Paedophile Information Exchange, active in Britain until 1984 which lobbied to lower the age of consent to just four years old. 

And while the websites themselves might not contain any outlawed material, these sites are well-known meeting spots for sex offenders.

After connecting on the sites, paedophiles can then go elsewhere to trade even more vile images via email or instant messenger.

While many can be viewed by anyone, others require users to register, and often new joiners have to be referred by an existing member to be verified or they are refused entry.