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Facebook pics of Irish girls as young as 12 posted on porn website

By Claire Cromie

Published 15/01/2016

Innocent Facebook pictures of Irish girls have been posted on a porn website and altered to look 'obscene'
Innocent Facebook pictures of Irish girls have been posted on a porn website and altered to look 'obscene'

A major police investigation is underway in the Republic of Ireland after pictures of teenage girls - some as young as 12 - were copied from social media and posted on a pornographic website.

Almost 50 victims are understood to have come forward, saying their photographs have been copied from their own Facebook pages and posted on a US-based website that was encouraging violent and pornographic comments.

Some of the horrified girls, most of whom are from Cork, say their faces have been photoshopped onto pictures of naked women.

A senior Garda detective said the investigation has traced the person who uploaded the images - and they have an IP address in Ireland.

The individual went by the pseudonym "Irish Exposed" and showed a preference for young girls with Irish social media addresses.

One victim, 19-year-old Katie Kirwan, told Red FM that a photo of her as a 15-year old in her school uniform had been lifted and made to look "obscene" on the website.

She said all the images taken from the Irish teens were innocent social shots with none being provocative or risqué.

Katie had virtually all her social media photos "harvested" without her permission - and the greatest number of comments and views were for the pictures taken when she was aged just 14 and 15.

"It is really quite worrying. Of course you'd be concerned about who has looked at those photos and who has attempted to download and store them," she said.

"Virtually all my photos are of just my face.

"Some of the comments are absolutely disgusting. They are vile."

Many of the photos were taken from private social media pages - and it remains unclear how "Irish Exposed" gained access to the images.

One young Dublin woman, Lizzy Ryan (19), had eight friends exploited by the site. She says people are now attempting to blame the innocent, traumatised teens for it.

"I find it appalling that some people out there are actually victim-blaming," she told the Irish Independent.

"It is weird how people are out there saying 'it is their fault'. It is absolutely nothing to do with the girls involved."

A senior Garda source told the Irish Times detectives were trying to establish whether a criminal act had taken place: "We have to assess whether or not this action involved criminality.

"It’s clearly a breach of their privacy, but that’s a civil matter under the law and we have to establish a clear case that a criminal offence was committed."

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