CYBER safety expert and former undercover online detective, Brett Lee, has seen the worst there is to see on the internet. But this new online trend has him extremely concerned!
A new and disturbing trend of online content profits by targeting young kids with videos featuring popular children’s characters in sexual and violent scenarios, reports News.com.au.
“As a detective, I used to pretend to be a child on the internet. Back in the early days of these sorts of investigations I would assume the identity of different children online. I did that for about five years and arrested a lot of child sex offenders,” he told news.com.au.
“So I have a very good understanding, in some ways, of how it feels to be a young person on the internet.”
Mr Lee now works to educate parents and teachers about the dangers posed to young children who are left unsupervised on the web. Lately he has been warning about a disturbing trend of content known as elsagate.
The name refers to the princess character from popular children’s movie Frozen who often appears in the bizarre content, either in cartoon form or a person dressed as the character.
“We just came across this and thought it was really interesting,” he said. “I’ve started talking to parents at schools about it over the past week, no parents I’ve spoken to are aware of it.”
“I’m not a tech expert, I’m a detective. But it appears this is slipping under the algorithms whereby it’s thinking that it is content suitable for children but there is some very disturbing content there,” Mr Lee said.
“A lot of it is subliminal, there’s common themes like children getting left behind, getting injections, getting your foot caught in the escalator — things children would be fearful of,” he said.
Other videos are decidedly more explicit in their content and involve things like simulation of sordid sexual acts and fetishes, dismemberment, cannibalism and kidnapping.
It is typically popular characters like Elsa the princess, Spiderman and Peppa Pig who star in the clips, which often take a sinister turn.
Recently we shared concerns over a Peppa Pig episode previously banned in Australia that is back in the limelight – READ HERE.
It is important to be aware of what your children are viewing online!
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