Pictures lifted from social media for pornographic purposes

By Lauren Sweeney, Special Projects Producer, lsweeney@clickorlando.com
Published On: Mar 27 2013 11:17:49 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 27 2013 11:54:55 PM EDT

Cyber crimes detectives said they are seeing pornographic images created from morphed images lifted off of Facebook and other social networking sites.

A Texas teenager and her mother were shocked to find a lewd Instagram profile last month utilizing the teen's Facebook pictures.

The naked pictures of other women on the page were made to look like it was actually the teenager.

[WEB EXTRA: Facebook privacy tutorial]

"As a parent, you can't go to Facebook or Instagram and say, 'I'm the mother, this is wrong get this down right now. Get it off. That's not an option,'" said her mother, who did not want to be identified.

Cyber crimes detectives at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said they find pornographic images created from morphed images lifted off of Facebook and other social networking sites all the time.

According to FDLE there is no law in Florida against this type of activity.

"These individuals can take my child's face off a picture and put it on whatever body, clothed or unclothed they want," said Jeff Duncan, the Special Agent Supervisor for FDLE's cyber high tech crimes unit based in Orlando.

Duncan said even though there are no laws that he can charge an individual with for having or creating a morphed pornographic image, he encourages people to report this type of activity.

"Typically if they are involved in this type of thing they are also involved in something worse.  It could be child pornography, child exploitation, human trafficking or could be a ton of things," he said.

He said parents need to be aware of the privacy tools available on Facebook and other social networking sites.

On Facebook in particular, users cover photos can never be set to anything but public.  That means anyone who is able to search for and find an individual can lift that photo regardless of their friendship status.

Facebook privacy experts recommend setting cover photos to something like a landscape or design rather than a photograph of yourself or your children.

They also recommend limiting the audience for all photographs to friends only. 

For the teenage victim in Texas, there are some laws that are applicable.  Law Enforcement there has subpoenaed Instagram for the IP address of the fake profile so they can try to track down the culprit.

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