Action needed to curb sexploitation
The growing need to govern the content provided by social media companies has hit a Pilot Mound family devastatingly. Daniel Lints, 17, committed suicide after being blackmailed.
Global sextortion targets teens
Job : 10:23 am 19 June 2022
PILOT MOUND, Man. – Daniel Lints was kind and responsible with a witty sense of humor. The rural Manitoba teenager had a bright future and a loving family. He played hockey and constantly visited the nearby community pool.
He was a normal, happy 17-year-old until one cold February day he accepted a message request from what appeared to be an attractive young woman on Snapchat.
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The Lints family is sharing Daniel’s story to alert the public to a burgeoning global program targeting teens. The exploitation began when Daniel accepted a message request on Snapchat from what appeared to be a young woman who then asked him to send an explicit image of himself. This set the trap, and within minutes Daniel was told that his private image would be shared with his family and friends unless he paid more money than he had.
The whole situation – from first contact to Daniel’s decision that he couldn’t live with the imagined shame that his intimate image was widely seen – happened in just three hours.
Tragically, this dastardly ploy has been attempted more than ever in the past two years as pandemic restrictions on in-person activities have forced more people to resort to online relationships. The RCMP Child Exploitation Center recorded 52,306 complaints for the 2020-2021 year, a 510% increase from seven years earlier.
The misuse of explicit images for criminal purposes is nothing new, but this sordid new twist appears to be targeting young men. The bait is a convincing image of a young woman to initiate a fake relationship online and request an intimate photo of the victim, taking advantage of the immature impulsiveness that is a developmental stage for some teenagers.