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Justin.tv streams child porn: industry crackdown coming?

The mainstream live video streaming industry has always struggled with content control. Unlike pre-recorded content which can often be filtered at the point it is uploaded, or close there to it, live content can only be moderated if a complaint is received and the person in the stream is caught in the act.

We’ve learned from a reader that Justin.tv this week streamed child pornography featuring 13 year old girls. We are in receipt of pictures and a comment stream that back that observation up to a point, however I would note for the record that none of the pictures we receive show nudity…as the act of receiving and viewing the said images would be illegal in Australia, even when sent for journalistic purposes. We would note that our tipper was appalled by what he stumbled upon on Justin.tv as well and has made no effort a far as we are aware to capture the parts of the video that would constitute child pornography.

According to out tipper, at around 10pm July 14 a number of 13 year old girls streaming live on Justin.tv were being asked to take their clothes off or were hit on by around 800 viewers. Here’s one of the initial screen shot:

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After some time the girls started to flirt more with the people in the chat room, and that’s when the nudity started. According to our tippers, the 13 year old girls flashed their breasts. These images do not show them doing that, but do show one girl stripping, and another posing in a suggestive fashion.

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I’ve not asked Justin.tv for comment because I know this isn’t a problem restricted to them alone, and to their credit (and what I would note would have been the standard response) they suspended the account some time after the child pornography went to air based on an internal complaint system (they nearly all exclusively work this way.)

Some providers are more prone to this sort of content than others though. Stickam has long been know for its scantily clad young girls as this screen shot taken early Sunday US time shows:

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Sites that attract a younger demographic tend to have the issue more: Live Universe has it, but you rarely if even see this sort of content on Ustream.tv. The problem then is knowing the age of those on screen: the porn industry has a record keeping requirement for age verification, something seemingly not required by streaming video sites.

What is clear though is that the live video streaming industry faces far greater risks from carrying child porn than it does in its constant fights against pirated content. Laws may offer some protection for these companies today, but laws can always be changed, and hosting naked 13 year old girls isn’t a good look for any company. A crackdown seems likely and it’s just a matter of when it will happen.

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