A UK man has been jailed for 4 years after grooming children on TikTok
- A man has been jailed for four years after
groomingchildren on TikTok.
- Robert Moors, 36, contacted two eight-year-old girls through the platform.
A man has been jailed after grooming
Moors used the username Goldeneye0073 on the platform, where he pretended he was 12 years old, according to Yahoo News. There, he messaged two young victims, asking them about their underwear, the outlet reported. He asked the younger victim, who was eight years old, to perform sexual acts, Yahoo
While Moors contacted the two girls through TikTok between October and December 2021, it is not clear if their whole conversations remained on the app or elsewhere. Thames Valley Police was not able to respond to Insider's request for comment before publication.
In court, Moors pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children and two counts of inciting a girl aged under 13 to engage in sexual activity. When he was investigated, 235 videos containing indecent images of children were found on his phone.
Detective Constable Samantha Bonner said in a statement that the content on Moors' phone was "the worst I have ever seen" in 18 years of service.
"The children in this case have been very brave in coming forward and I hope that Moors being brought to justice provides them some form of closure," she said. "I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of child sexual abuse to report it to the police. We always take allegations of this nature seriously, regardless of how much time has passed and a full investigation will take place."
She added that she would advise parents and guardians to always monitor their children's online activity because "there are people out there looking to take advantage of them."
"Always insist on strong privacy settings, parental locks and other measures to keep children safe when using the internet, and educate them about the dangers of chatting to people they do not know," she said.
TikTok has come under pressure for how it handles situations of grooming and abuse, as well as faced allegations it is not doing enough to protect the children that use it. The Department of Homeland Security, which the Financial Times reports is currently investigating how the platform handles child sexual abuse content, labeled TikTok the "perfect place for predators."
Louisa Warwick, the founder of Social Acceleration Group, told Insider that because TikTok is most popular amongst younger generations, "where young children go, predators will naturally follow."
"TikTok has come under fire for not reacting swiftly or appropriately to reports of abuse, predators, and inappropriate messages and or comments from predators," Warwick said. "Unfortunately many children have fallen victims to these predators."
A TikTok spokesperson sent Insider a list of measures the platform has in place to detect and remove child sexual abuse material and promote age-appropriate experiences on the app. For example, they said 98% of minor safety policy violations are removed before they're reported and 96% are removed while they have zero views. Any cases are then reported to The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
TikTok also states that users have to be 13 years old to set up an account, and if a user is suspected to be under that age they will be suspended.
"TikTok has zero tolerance for child sexual abuse material," the spokesperson said. "We are deeply committed to the safety and well-being of minors and have built youth safety into our policies. This includes privacy and safety settings by default on teen accounts and a limit on certain features by age."
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