There’s been a lot of news coverage, especially from Britain, of arrests made in connection with international sale of images of child sexual abuse.
The good news is that a lot of pedophiles–many in positions of trust and of power over children–are being busted. The sad news is that the 600 recent arrests are just a tiny portion of the people making, selling, and consuming these images on the Dark Net--and the regular Internet for that matter.
What stands out for me is the change in the way this crime is being framed. “Child pornography” is the old term. But “pornography” carries with it a sense, for many people, of permissible adult naughtiness. And, too, there are First Amendment issues around what is obscene and what is not.
But the sexual abuse of children is wrong. No matter what. And the BBC is now clearly labeling the capturing of these images as what it is–child sexual abuse. They are also strong on calling both the producers and consumers of these images “pedophiles,” which is what they are.
A word may be a little thing, but it can have a big impact. Kudos to the BBC for framing the issue to reflect the reality of the children who endure this crime.