How can we catch online sexual predators?
Over the course of 2 months, the Dutch organisation says Sweetie (whom they created) helped identify over one thousand adults in 71 different countries who were attempting to pay children in developing countries to perform sexual acts over a webcam.
The Terre des Hommes announced that it would hand over video footage of the interactions to international police organisation Interpol this week.
Here’s how Sweetie works, according to CNET’s reports,
Researchers made sure to model their alter ego’s online conversation, in style and tone, to that of a preteen Filipino girl.
Using software, researchers controlled Sweetie’s conversations, facial expressions, and movements (made realistic through the use of motion capture technology). While the fake girl chatted with the real men, the activists tracked the potential criminals down not by hacking their computers, but by using information they volunteered — Facebook and other social-media profiles, phone numbers, pictures, and video footage.
Below is a short video documentary that shows exactly how Sweetie operates when she’s chatting with sexual predators over webcams.
It’s pretty amazing.