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Social Media Exploitation

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue
The Truth Network Radio
August 6, 2022 12:00 pm

Social Media Exploitation

Lantern Rescue / Lantern Rescue

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August 6, 2022 12:00 pm

Robby is joined by Ren and Lantern volunteer, Whitney, to discuss how and when child exploitation and trafficking happens through various social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Instagram, and OnlyFans - and how we can work to end it.

A warning: this program contains sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised.

Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) at 1-888-373-7888.

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The following program contains sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised. Previously on Lantern Rescue. And so the intent was to be able to forge a relationship with our child protective services, to be a resource and asset for them as well that they could utilize. And then also to help aid and assist our local law enforcement with just an extra set of hands to be able to work specifically as it pertained to children. And so as we started this journey, we realized for all of our law enforcement guys out there, make no mistake, I don't want to make this sound easy.

The way that this was done was only God could have done this. I would say moving forward that that target person is someone that has extensive experience in law enforcement. Welcome to Lantern Rescue, a ministry program dedicated to bringing light into the darkness of human trafficking. It's time to light the way to freedom. This is Lantern Rescue. We tell the stories, we talk about rescues, and we empower you to do something about it.

William Wilberforce once said, let it not be said I was silent when they needed me. This is Lantern Rescue. So welcome to Lantern Rescue. And honestly, today's show has me shocked as Ren and Whitney were describing to me the content of what they wanted to discuss today. I was totally blown away. I had no idea this stuff was going on and so close to home and so close to my home and the way of social media and what is going on and the exploitation of our young people is just unbelievably rampant. It's scary. So Ren, can you kind of share what you were telling me? Yeah, so what we wanted to talk about today was just the hypersexualization of this generation and how it's being done through social media and the impact of having on this generation. So a lot of the issues that we're going to be talking about are with the apps like Snapchat, Instagram and OnlyFans, this new, I don't really know what to call it, this new creature that has been created by the internet that is hypersexualizing the entire generation and we believe is causing problems currently and will lead to a lot bigger problems in the future. And so Whitney, you know, you being a school teacher have actually experienced some of this, you know, real close to home, right? Yeah, I mean, you know, being a teacher that really kind of tries to minister to the kids that were in my classroom at the time, they had a comfortable level of talking and discussing things thinking that I wasn't hearing a lot of it, but in hearing some of their conversations, Ren's exactly right, there is an absolute hypersexualization of our children and it's coming through and flowing through their phones and electronic devices through things as simple as Instagram, OnlyFans, Snapchat, if we go backwards a couple of years, there was chat roulette and all of these things I was pretty blind to as well, Robbie, much like, you know, you probably feel in this situation, but seeing and hearing these kids talk about these applications, it just blew my mind to the extent that they were willing to normalize this mannerism.

I mean, this way of life and even glorify it to the extent of it being something to accomplish to be an OnlyFans person or just collect money for some of the things they're spending out. I mean, it's just, it is, it is mind blowing. Unfortunately, we have to do something about it because it's going to take our children by storm and in so many ways it already is.

Yeah, and I know that this is a little bit graphic to listen to, but I think it's critical that we hear it, Ren. So actually, these kids are being paid to do stupid stuff, right? Yeah, stupid stuff is an understatement. So these kids are getting online and there's the illegal way that they're doing this through Snapchat and Instagram where kids that are underage, which makes it the fan material, are selling images of themselves and they're getting paid through different avenues, you know, cash, PayPal, I'll drop alcohol off for you, whatever, insert whatever way the child wants to be. And then once they become of age, I believe, I'm sure there's some type of form of OnlyFans is only for 18 and up. I don't know how strict that is, but the theory behind it is that it's only for 18 and up. But then when they become 18, then they get to do OnlyFans, which is legalized, quote unquote, legalized, CCAM content, in my opinion. When you start producing these images at a young age and giving, you know, sending them across the internet of yourself as a child, CCAM images, and then you continue to do it into your adulthood, I think that's a direct correlation that, you know, you're still a child. You're still, it's really disturbing and it's going to cause, it's already starting to cause problems with hyper sexualization of this generation and it's going to cause a lot more problems emotionally, physically, mentally. I know Whitney has some broad topics and some stories to touch on if she's comfortable sharing anything from her experience.

Yeah, you know, go ahead, Whitney. Yeah, I mean, it's very much like Ren said, we're creating a normalized commercial sex industry among children is what is initially happening here by not taking a stand, not speaking out and, you know, not finding a way to combat it. And that only progresses to worse and uglier things. You know, I think a lot of these kids probably start out on here and someone along the way has told them, you know, how quick and easy the money was for them to, you know, send a picture of themselves and maybe it wasn't even fully new, right?

Maybe it was just a little bit risque picture and somebody was willing to pay them $20 for that, right? And then it just continues to escalate because even with only fans being 18 and up, there's definitely ways around that. The kids are going to find a way and we see that in a lot of areas and probably in all of our own youth, we have had moments where we found a way, whether it was the right thing or not, right?

And so they're going to do that as well. And without going into a lot of detail, there are a lot of stories out there that these kids are able to do just ridiculous things with the money that they're making off of these platforms. And it really does escalate what she's saying. You know, I've heard of cases where it escalates, well, now I have these images of you, so if you don't sleep with me, I will, I'll put them on the internet and it's these fans and it's been going to an adult. So then now it's, now we're in child rape territory.

So it's really alarming. Sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off there, Whitney. You were saying about what people do with this money. Yeah, no, I mean, I think that's perfect. Oh, while we got a moment, Ren, can you, I know we did it a lot in a previous episode, but when you use the term C-SPAN, can you kind of delineate that for our listeners so they can know exactly what that is? Yeah, of course.

We can never talk about that too much. I'm always, always happy to reiterate topics even, hopefully it doesn't annoy our listeners how much I harp on things, but C-SPAN stands for child sexual abuse material, and it is the new word that we are trying to implement instead of the word child pornography. Child pornography has an implication that it is in some way voluntary because there is a legal adult pornography world. Then the children in these images are never, this is never voluntary. Even if they aren't fighting back and screaming, they are children and this is not voluntary.

And it more accurately depicts it. Child pornography, again, has this voluntary kind of romanticized idea, like the, just the wording itself, but child sexual assault material is more accurate. It is the material that is produced from a child being sexually assaulted. It is not child pornography. It is not any form of pornography. It is not something that is enjoyable.

It is child sexual assault material. And that's why we use that phrase. Yeah. And so it's, it's C-SPAN. So S-A-M? C-S-A-M. Yeah, okay.

All right. I'm still trying to grasp so many different things, like, oh my goodness, that, you know, I've got grandkids of, you know, you're just like, just a lot of things are rushing through my head to think, well, you know, they hear about all this easy money and these other kids are flashing, you know, fancy clothes or whatever they've gotten from doing that. And then, you know, oh, this is so easy and oh my gosh, Satan is just lining them up and it's just unthinkable. But yeah, you're right. Obviously the people that get a hold of these pictures have got all kinds of leverage that they don't need to have.

Absolutely. And anytime content like there's put out, there's situations where people have been stalked, kids have been stalked by people that have subscribed to their account. So then you're putting an adult in a situation where they have no place being to begin with and then it escalates because they want more, right? That's that inherent evil of what's going on here is the desire for more.

They could feel that too. It's that constant desire for more and easy money and it leads to just a really dangerous thing. Yeah, and I know we've talked about it in a previous episode, it's kind of a while ago though, but there is a correlation between when children, when people start viewing pornography and by pornography, I actually mean, you know, stuff you would look up online or old house on magazines, whatever that looks like. There's a direct correlation between people beginning to view pornography at a young age and eventually, not everyone obviously, but people that eventually escalate to actual physical assault of children. So there's a line between people that start viewing, not every case, again, not every case, they start getting pornography young and throughout their lives. The pornography is not enough now. Now they want the violent pornography. Now they want younger and younger and younger. It turns into the CSAM and then they actually go and they physically assault a child. That is a line that's already been identified.

Now we're upping the ante. Now not only are you getting direct access, you can literally message the person that's producing the CSAM content because it is the child on Instagram. You can message them on Snapchat on Instagram and say, I want this image. You have direct access. So now it's not, okay, that person might go abuse a child at some point in the future.

Now it is, which is still horrible and still needs to be addressed, but now it is. They're going to abuse that particular child because they feel connected. They feel like that is someone that they have an ownership, they have control of, and they have access to because the kids, a lot of kids leave that location settings on their Snapchat and it is so easy to locate a child. So they're getting new images and they're getting addicted and they want more, they want more, they want more, and eventually it's not enough and they're going to go find that specific child. Yeah, that's terrifying.

Absolutely terrifying. You know, all that that's involved in that. And again, the fascinating or the horribly fascinating thing is that those are things we all know our kids have. Snapchat, Instagram, you know, I never heard of fan whatever, but I don't want to know about that. You know, but man, those are things that they're obviously on all the time.

Absolutely. And they're downplayed easily. You know, the kids are not going to, that's not something they're going to open up about, you know, or what they're seeing or what their friends are doing. That's not what they're most likely to sit down at the dinner table and discuss with us as parents. And that's the scary part of it is, you know, how do you, how do you, how do you combat it if you don't even know it's there? And it starts with knowing that the possibilities are there and asking the hard questions, you know, being willing to take ownership back over that phone that they have in their hands, you know, and say, this is not, we can't do this.

This is not accessible. What kind of questions, how would you frame that if you were a mom and you were going to go approach your daughter, you know, Whitney, how would you frame those questions? Oh gosh, I'm probably not the one to ask on that one because I'm pretty straightforward. If I'm paying for it and you're living under my roof, hand it over, you know, but, but a big part of it is setting those expectations early on. If you're getting to the point where you're handing your children electronics, then you're also at a point that you should be having these discussions because if you're not teaching them what's going on, if you're not talking to them about the possibilities and what bad guys look like as innocent as it might start out, then you're, you're only opening the world up to teach them those things.

And the world is a harsh teacher. So really it's having those open conversations with your children and then setting boundaries. So much of it that just like, you know, they need to, I don't think I would let my kids have some of these social media platforms to begin with. I don't see a purpose of having Snapchat, you know, like, what is the purpose of your photos deleting without poor intent? You know, if there's nothing to hide, then why would you need something like that? And so there's, I see things from a little different view, especially now sitting on this side of things and understanding just the depths of evil in the world.

I mean, my kids would have an electronic device alone until they're out of my house. So you can see we got a whole lot to talk about here on Lantern Rescue today. So stay tuned.

We'll be right back with a whole lot more. Lantern Rescue is a USA-based organization that conducts international rescue operations for people suffering from human trafficking. Lantern specializes in sending former US special operation law enforcement and intelligence personnel to partner with host nations and assist them in creating specialized units to combat ongoing security problems, such as genocide, terrorism, and human trafficking.

As a nonprofit charity, they offer services free of charge to their host nations. Human trafficking has grown into the second largest criminal activity in the world, reaching an estimated $150 billion in annual activity. Lantern Rescue has developed rapidly to combat trafficking. Lantern operates through a trained international network in order to rescue women and children from sex and labor slavery, and facilitates holistic aftercare services.

They're gearing up for operations right now, and you can go to lanternrescue.org to see how you can support them financially. The following program contains sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised. Welcome back to Lantern Rescue, and today's show is, oh my goodness, what's going on with this super sexualized generation, and what's going on with the social media apps that are available to them? And so, Wren, the same question kind of to you.

How do you approach families, kids, with these questions? Yeah, so a similar situation kind of came up recently in my life. One of my friend's kids was talking about how their friend, one of their friends, and my friend's child is a preteen girl, and she was talking about how one of her friends had this new boyfriend, and I was very serious. I was like, oh yeah?

Tell me about it. She's like, yeah, well, she met him, she met him on Snapchat and gives some indiscriminate young boy names. Yeah, her and Matt, they met on Snapchat, and I was like, oh, really? Tell me more. We had a conversation about this and explained that this is probably not what she thinks it is. Oh, yeah, they met on Snapchat.

He's really nice. They talk all the time. I said, well, have they ever FaceTimed, have they ever called? Well, no.

Does she know I'm in her life? Well, no. Where does he live? I don't know.

Do you understand why these are issues? Every time that you go to hang out, your mom wants to know where you're at. Well, where's this kid at? Who are you talking to? Who are you texting in the confines of your room at night to this boy that you don't even know? And it's probably not a boy.

It's probably an adult man. So these conversations are starting to happen in my friend's life with their kids, and in the position that I'm in, I'm always willing to have a conversation as well about this. So really, the best thing, and I know this isn't always this situation, but is to have the open dialogue about everything with your kids, you know, have that open conversation and make them feel like they can come to you without getting in trouble and allow them that space to communicate with you. And even your kid's friends, you know, if they're more comfortable with you and you see there's warning signs. For example, my friend's child's friend is not comfortable going to her parents. That's not something she would go to. So once we found out about this situation, we talked to her like, you know, what's going on with this Snapchat boyfriend?

And she talked to us about it. That wasn't something she was comfortable going to her friend's parents, or her own parents about. But having that open dialogue or having a trusted adult in the child's life that they're able to have that conversation with, and really making sure that they know that they're not in trouble, you're just trying to protect them, you're trying to keep them safe. So making it also clear, why are they hiding their identity?

Why aren't they showing you this and letting them the kids aren't going to be in the house forever? You can't just tell them no, because I said so no, when it comes to stuff like this, you have to help them be their own detective figure it out. Well, well, honey, why do you think he doesn't FaceTime you?

Well, you know, I don't know. Well, do you think maybe it's because he's not who he says he is? Well, yeah, maybe and let them start to figure that out on their own. Don't just immediately say no, you're not talking to him delete him right now. You got to help them figure out why.

And so should I say that? Well, if someone's hiding your identity from you, honey, like, don't you think that maybe they don't mean good things? Like, why would you hide your identity from from a 12 year old child?

Why would you do that? And let them start to figure it out on their own without over stimulating them with, you know, oh, he's going to come here and he's going to rape you. Like, don't don't immediately jump to that. You don't want to scare them. You want them to have that conversation with you. That way, if it happens again, when it probably happens again, because our kids are so exposed to this kind of stuff these days, they feel comfortable coming and talking to you and they don't feel like you're going to attack them, you're going to shut it down, it has to be more of a conversation than no, don't do this because I said so and I know what's best for you.

I understand that is the answer to a lot of things embarrassing, hot soaps, etc. But when it comes to stuff that they're going to be experiencing in their lives, and you're not going to be able to be there in the phone to stop the message and send it back to the sender, you've got to let the child learn how to identify those situations themselves and understand why this is a bad thing, so they can prevent the behavior on their own. Wow. Yeah, that's that's great advice. And you know, that creating a safe environment for your kids works on all sorts of things, not just this issue, obviously, to where they feel safe to share what's going on, because it just seems like it's some really scary stuff. But also, as teachers out there, you create the same safe space, right, Whitney?

Yeah, that's right. That is important to, you know, I approached teaching as a ministry opportunity. And, you know, I know not every teacher in every classroom is necessarily coming to the table with that same mindset. But if I approached it as a missionary in a mission field, my heart was receptive to seeing what needed to be seen and the hurt and the things that these kids are struggling with. And, you know, to be honest, if I look back at it and kind of consider what the common denominator is, it's their worth, their self worth and what that looks like to them. So on the parent side of things, on the teacher side of things, really on all sides, pouring into these kids that their value is so much more than any photograph they're ever going to send, any subscriber or follower they're going to get on their social media pages, their worth is the highest value and it can't be bought and it was already paid for when Christ went to the cross. And even sitting in a classroom, I would not hesitate to say those things to them, because I think it's important and it's valuable. And it's that search for worth in these things, in these platforms, in these people that are even rent situations, all of a sudden you feel this value added to your life because this cute boy who you haven't even been able to see yet is interested, right? And so teaching your kids what that should look like and how valuable they are, I think is a really good place to start.

And as educators, I hope that people are also pouring into these kids that their value and worth is not determined by their past mistakes or failures, but instead we know that it's been predetermined by Christ. Darrell Bock Oh, that's wonderful advice, Whitney. It really, really is. And so, Ron, I can't help but wonder on the legal side, what could we as parents, are there some laws they're trying to enact to stop some of this or you got any ideas?

Whitney Espich Yeah, so great question. And I think we've talked about it on the podcast before, the Earn It Act, which is a huge act. There's a lot that goes into it. But one of the things that is part of it is requiring internet providers to proactively monitor their platforms for PCM content and child exploitation content. So that is something that's out there. There's stuff that's out there, but at the end of the day, kids and criminals are so smart, and they're going to find ways around stuff. So yes, the government and the legislature and the law is trying to work to help protect kids, but they can't be there and do it all. So it really takes a lot of different avenues of approach. So the law is doing what it can, and parents are doing what they can in most situations. And there's a lot of social media platforms that are proactively trying to do stuff that's good as well.

But you're not going to catch it all. So it really, the biggest safety net is the home structure and that ability to communicate with your children and have those conversations. It's individualized to each child, the law and the social media platforms, trying to fix stuff is great, but it is a one size fits all solution that isn't actually going to fit all. So having those conversations and coming up from all these avenues, I do have hope that if we are all open-minded and actually open to seeing this evil, we will be able to combat it. But if people pretend, not my kid, not, you know, they wouldn't do that. They would, they would tell me if people live, live in that mindset, they're not going to see it and they're not going to be able to help. So it really does, it requires these really uncomfortable and awkward conversations. It's a hard thing to do, but it is so, so vitally important.

Yeah. And a couple of other things I was thinking, you know, if you're listening and you're like, what can I do? What can I do? Well, one thing you can do is share this podcast.

Tell your friends, tell people you care about, you guys need to listen to what this is and what is going on with this. And then as we become more informed, obviously we know better how to pray, right? And pray that, you know, our government has the courage to step up against these social media platforms and saying, Hey, you know, when the car manufacturers are struggling with their bumpers, you know, we made them spend billions of dollars to make bumper Heights all the same. We can certainly get these, you know, internet people to do what they need to do to protect our kids. And so those are wonderful things to pray about things that we can get the word out and just yourself, you know, be educated in what's going on. Cause I just feel like, wow, you know, you know, just totally ignorant on what I have learned today. And it's so important that we speak out. Is there other ways that you could think of Whitney that we should be speaking out? I mean, I think you did cover it really well. And I think Ren made a very important point that be willing to talk about these things, discuss those things, because that is such a vital part to it and have those hard conversations with your kids.

It's not going to be easy, but if you're on the parenting side, parenting's not easy from the get go. Right. But those are things that have to be discussed because what we don't teach from the world will, and we know how that leads and prayer prayer is huge.

Being on the praying side of it, that as the depths of evil are, are torn back and revealed that we step in as the church and body of Christ to fill the gap and really just keep fighting and pushing back the darkness. We see that in all areas that we work at land and rescue. Right. And so this is just one of those facets that pours into the other depths of evil that we deal with every day. Oh, absolutely.

One thing I'd like if we have time to say we have time still. Awesome. Yeah. What I really want to point out is if you do encounter your child and they are engaging in this behavior, there's, they've been manipulated by someone and they're sending images or they're meeting up with people, whatever, they are not a bad kid. If they are not trying to act out, it is not necessarily a reflection of your parenting.

It is a, and this is kind of what the conversation has started with. It is a direct reflection of the hyper-sexualization of this generation. Kids sending these pictures, Oh, well, you know, even if it's in their underwear, their undergarments, Oh, well, you know, so-and-so has that just posted on their Instagram page, just on for everyone to see, you know, just run a public Instagram page. There's so much hyper-sexualization right now of society and of children that there are a lot of times they're not even going to recognize this as something they're doing something wrong. They might know, you know, Oh, you know, it's a little risky, but they not might not realize because of how prolific the sexualization of this generation has been that they're actually doing something wrong. So if you're a kid, you do encounter them doing this.

They're not a bad kid. Please have some grace and you handle it and understand that it is a direct reflection of what's going on in society. And it kind of also rolls into, you know, the human trafficking aspect of this, this kind of hyper-sexualization is very reflective of what we see in trafficking victims, specifically in the United States. They don't, a lot of times we'll not realize they're a victim because, Oh, well, everyone has an only family.

I just happen to have a pimp that runs mine or a pimp that sets up my meeting or does this. And they don't realize that they're being exploited and that they're being trafficked and that they're being used a certain way because, well, doesn't everyone do this? Isn't everyone selling pictures on OnlyFans? It's a meme. It's a joke. It's funny. So it can't be wrong, right? I'm not a trafficking victim.

This is legal. So there's a lot of issues to unpack here. Um, and you know, maybe we don't have time for all of them. This could be a really long episode, but mainly what I want to hit on is if you catch your kid doing this, they're not a bad kid. Give them some grace and try to understand that they're growing up in a different world than what we did. And their kids will be growing up in even different worlds. We all have to evolve and we all have to just do our best to serve our children where they're at today, not where we think they should be based on our childhood. And then also give them the services they need and allow people to recover in the way they need to recover.

If they're not ready to identify as a victim, specifically when it comes to human trafficking, that's what it is. They will get there when they're ready. Don't force that on them. Try to meet them where they're at. That's powerful advice and something we all can be praying for.

Again, share this episode. Get the word out, right? Bring some light like lantern rescue.

Get the ideas. We're going to bring the light and help people see the way. We're so grateful for you guys sharing this information today. Thank you so much, friend. Thank you, Whitney. God bless. Thank you. Thanks, Sally. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-15 02:04:27 / 2023-03-15 02:16:45 / 12

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