The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) warns against the easy dissemination of child pornography files among children, adolescents and young adults. "We must massively counteract a de minimis of these crimes," said the head of the BKA department for gravity and organized crime, Sabine Vogt.
For two and a half years, security agencies have found that children and young adolescents increasingly share and pass on child pornography content through social networks. "We assume that this material is either forwarded because it is unknowingly handled or because it is out of curiosity," said Vogt.
During the interrogation, the suspects were often astonished. They were not aware that there was a criminal act, said Vogt. This should now be counteracted with more prevention work.
Last Friday it became known that the security authorities in eleven federal states had searched apartments of suspects on suspicion of forwarding pictures and videos, some of which show severe sexual violence against children. The 21 suspects between the ages of 14 and 26 are said to have spread this type of video over social networks.
Compulsory subject "media literacy" required at schools
"In the course of these searches, we were able to secure numerous evidence, especially smartphones, tablets, computers and data carriers," said the spokesman for the Frankfurt Attorney General, Christian Hartwig. One of the more widely circulated videos allegedly shows the rape of a child by two teenagers in a quarry in Afghanistan.
Four of the 21 suspects live according to the investigators in Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia. Two suspects each come from Berlin, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony and one each from Rhineland-Palatinate, Bavaria, Thuringia, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony-Anhalt.
Against the background of the investigations, the Federal Government's Abusive Commissioner, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, advocates the introduction of a compulsory subject "media literacy" in schools. Alternatively, it should be conveyed "cross-cutting in all relevant subjects that basic values such as humanity and respect are also valid in the digital world."
Rörig pointed out that many children and adolescents who spread abuse pictures via social networks may not be sufficiently aware that behind the photos or videos is the real abuse of a child. The range of sexual violence against children and adolescents has taken on enormous proportions on the Internet. "The fact that children and adolescents are increasingly active in this area is evidence of the minors' lack of reflection and makes it clear that responsible use of digital media is obviously only insufficiently communicated."