RCMP find child nudity on Nunavut TikTok accounts
Posts not sexual in nature, say police, but considered to be child pornography
The RCMP’s specialized investigative team recently received more than a dozen complaints about videos of toddlers and young children from Nunavut dancing nude on social media platforms like TikTok.
Police sent out a public service announcement about the posts on May 5, advising parents to monitor their children’s use of the internet.
The videos in question were short, home-made, and contained young children aged two to eight years old, RCMP Cpl. Jill Bonnet said in an email.
She said police don’t believe any of the children have been harmed in the videos, but due to the content, they are deemed to be child pornography.
Police identified the children in the videos and advised their parents or guardians.
Bonnet says that possessing, accessing, sharing and creating child pornography are all criminal offences but no charges have been laid in relation to these cases.
In TikTok’s user guidelines, it says that “non-sexualized content showing areolas or nipples of infants, or toddlers,” is allowed, but full nudity is not allowed.
“Any time children are accessing the internet and social media, a responsible adult should be supervising to ensure that the child is not accessing sites that they should not, and to ensure that they are not communicating with folks that they should not,” said Bonnet.
Material containing child sexual exploitation is flagged and reported to police in the country the video is believed to have originated.
If the video is thought to be from Canada, the information is forwarded to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States. It then pinpoints which province or territory the video originated from.
The RCMP’s specialized investigative team looks into incidents of child exploitation on a variety of social networking sites, not just TikTok, Bonnet said.
Facebook, Snapchat and Tumblr have all been used in the past to share material that victimizes children, she added.
Online safety resources are available for Nunavummiut through the Embrace Life Council. They offer Youth Online Safety booklets for both kids, and adolescents, in French, English and Inuktitut.