Minister responds to targeting of Flemish youth group photos by paedophiles

Minister responds to targeting of Flemish youth group photos by paedophiles
Flemish media minister, Benjamin Dalle, has called for improved information and awareness of the potential for social media and photo distribution platforms to be used be paedophiles. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The Flemish Minister for Media and Youth, Benjamin Dalle (CD&V), said on Wednesday that he would discuss privacy with youth movements.

The minister's comments come in response to a new report broadcast as part of the "Pano" (VRT) programme which highlights that pictures posted online by Flemish youth movements or sports clubs are sometimes "used" by paedophiles, who examine them carefully or exchange them.

Pano shows among other things in its report some of the websites that are specifically dedicated to the exchange of "stolen photos" of children, many of which come from social networks.

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Dalle pleads for more awareness of the problem. "We must be careful when it comes to social networks and the use of digital channels in youth organisations," said Dalle. The minister promised to seek solutions to the problem, in collaboration with the youth sector.

In the past, the Flemish knowledge centre "mediawijsheid" has provided advice to youth organisations, explained Dalle. Actions in this area "must be strengthened", added the minister.

"Let us engage in better information and awareness-raising for organisations and their leaders," said Dalle, who continued to argue that new rules are not necessary.

"It starts with us: with the right privacy settings, we can avoid a lot of problems," explained the minister.

Evie McCullough

The Brussels Times

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