Members of the hacktivist collective Anonymous resurfaced this week with a new campaign to expose suspected pedophiles on Twitter and get the site and its users to help root out other accounts linked to child pornography.
In a Pastebin post, someone using the hashtag #Anonymous posted the Twitter handles for about 100 Twitter users, some with names like @Daddysinfulgirl and @lolitahussy.
Accompanying the roster was a message: “This is a list of pedophiles that twitter hasn’t deemed important to remove despite their affiliations with each other, their posts of children participating in lewd acts, and their requests for this sort of material. We are releasing these names in hopes that Twitter will work together with LEA in order to catch and stop these scumbags.
“You mess with our children, you mess with us.”
The flashpoint, according to the site Mediabistro, may have been tweets between two Rhode Island politicians urging someone going by @panudedude to be “brought to justice” for posting child porn. Rep. Dan Gordon then tagged his tweet with #Anonymous.
The group responded the next day, Monday, with the postings under the hashtag #TwitterPedoRing.
A Twitter spokesman said today that the company has investigated all reports of accounts linking images or content involving child pornography. It’s permanently suspended those found to be in violation and reported the offenders to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Anyone who comes across a Twitter account distributing child pornography can email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the profile and relevant tweets that warrant an investigation, he added.
This isn’t the first time members of Anonymous have taken up the cause to bring child pornographers into the public light. Last month an Anonymous group published credentials for 11 users of an illegal child porn site it accessed by breaking into the site’s servers. Last year the group released the results of its Operation Darknet, in which members relied on Tor masking tools to track down and expose the IP addresses and online histories of 190 users involved in disseminating pornographic images of children.
Then, as now, the group used the occasion to urge law enforcement to get more involved in bringing down child pornography rings and pedophiles trawling the Web for victims.