Like most authors, I have ‘Google Alerts’ on my book titles to see when something comes up about them on the internet. Many times we get alerts on articles that use those words, but are unrelated to us. We expect it, it’s no big deal. One of my titles is also the title of a new erotica book. I just ignore those alerts. However, I had one this morning that really disturbed me.
I had just woken up, put the dog out, and grabbed my first cup of coffee. The first email in my inbox was a Google Alert. I’d rather not say which title it was for and if anyone asks for the website it took me to, I’ll never speak to you again.
The link took me to a site that advertises porn videos to purchase and download. This isn’t surprising, it happens a lot. I usually hit delete and move on. Today, some of the images on the advertisements caught my eye. They pictured very young, naked girls, (between the ages of 10-13 years-old), physically engaging with naked grown men.
I called my local sheriff’s department to find out how to report the site. They were concerned, but said the FBI handled these type cases. My next call was to my local FBI branch.
The agent that took my call took my name, phone number, and address. Next, he asked me to describe exactly what was pictured on the advertisements. I told him, but added that I hadn’t and wouldn’t open any of the videos to see what those showed. The pictures I’d seen were bad enough. Obviously, though, they were not bad enough for the FBI. They didn’t even ask the name of the website.
It seems you can show pictures of children being sexually exploited, as long as it doesn’t include actual sexual penetration. This is not an exaggeration. This is what I was told. I even asked for clarification.
I don’t know what is making my head hurt worse, the images of those children or my disappointment with the FBI.
So, to close I’d just like to say – Be vigilant parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older siblings. We are all that stands between our children and some very sick people.
Missing and Exploited Children 1-800-843-5678