Readers are warned that the following report contains content that may be upsetting, even though the Irish Examiner has chosen not to publish the most graphic, degrading, and offensive comments about the women photographed, which dominate the site.
The website claims to pay ‘tribute’ to the women pictured, but the accompanying descriptions and fantasies leave the reader in little doubt that this is a realm where the commodification of women is encouraged; with each comment, posters attempt to outdo each other in their attempts to degrade the oblivious subjects of their sordid attentions.
The users are English-speaking, but appear to be widely spread across the globe. There is an active Irish community, however.
We've been contacted by over 20 young Cork girls whose social media profile pictures have been hijacked by porn site pic.twitter.com/DDeJchqM2L— Neil Prendeville (@NeilRedFM) January 14, 2016
A user identified by the handle ‘Irishexposed’ is described as a “Respected Member” of the site — a title more than likely bestowed in recognition of the vast volume of pictures he has posted to the site.
The user starts a comment thread, often giving the first name and location of the woman detailed within and a series of pictures. What follows is an array of degrading comments.
A consistent theme in these Irish threads is the nature of the original pictures. All are typical of the kind of photographs posted to social media by teenagers — selfies, group shots, pictures of themselves dressed up for a night out; girls posing for the camera, but nothing more provocative than a pout.
“She’s fucking asking for it by the looks of it,” is one of the milder comments by one male.
“omg these hot little [deleted] are so asking for my [deleted] !!!!” another user says.
Other users post pictures showing a print-off of the original photograph, pictured next to an erect penis. In some of these pictures, the print-off is covered in semen.
“Safe to say I’ve just found my new favourite [deleted] toy,” a forum member writes of one woman, identified as a teenager from Cork.
“Always cute yet always slutty,” another comment reads.
Another threadis simply entitled ‘cork – ireland’ in which the discussion starter encourages fellow members to specifically share images of young women from Cork.
“Pretty much wanted to start a thread for local sluts. Hopefully people will post their fav local irish teens.. happy fapping!” a user with the handle ccfc12345 writes.
“Would anyone be interested in doing a queen of [deleted] game to find out who the biggest [deleted] slut in cork is at the moment?” the same member asks.
One user posts pictures of a young woman he describes as a ‘well developed teen’, while another superimposed girls’ heads onto nude pictures.
“Great fake chris thanks. Theres plenty more cork sluts where she came from!” ccfc12345 writes in response to one photoshopped picture.
Another conversation attempted to arrange a real- world meet up, where fellow forum members can engage in mutual masturbation over images of Irish women.
In another thread, a user posts publicity pictures ofactress Sarah Greene, and describes how he has known her since he was 13 years old. He then makes vile comments about her, to which ccfc12345 asks: “Got any [pictures] of her when she was 13?”
Kate’s Story: ‘I discovered a whole forum dedicated to me’
Kate is one of 26 Cork girls whose social media pictures were harvested from Facebook for an international porn site, appearing via a link called ‘Ireland Exposed’.
The third-level student was shocked and sickened to discover that there was a forum on the porn site devoted to her, circulating hundreds of her Facebook profile pictures and uploads.
“The photographs were lifted from my Facebook page even though it was on private settings,” Kate said. “I found out because I received a message via the ‘other messages’ function on Facebook from a man telling me that my photos were being used on a porn website.”
At first, Kate ignored the messages as she wasn’t friends with the individual, but eventually she asked him for proof when he persisted in his warnings.
“He sent me a link and I discovered a whole forum dedicated to me,” Kate said. “My full name was there with a link to my Facebook page. I was absolutely distraught and I had a little bit of a breakdown,” she said.
Eventually Kate told her mother, who was disgusted, and then she contacted the porn website, which eventually removed all content relating to her, but Kate said that she recognised two other people on the list of Cork girls featured on the site.
She said that when she searched the site, it was disturbing to see that the most viewed and commented on images were those containing girls that were clearly underage.
Some of the girls were as young as 12 years old in the images. Photograph had been doctored to appear to depict them in pornographic scenarios. In some of the comments, men fantasised about raping the girls.
PORN SCAM - Kate had photographs taken from her Facebook page when she was 19. Natasha was traumatised after her photos were used on site— Neil Prendeville (@NeilRedFM) January 14, 2016
“They’re fully aware that the girls are underage,” Kate said, speaking on The Neil Prendeville Show on Red FM. “They’re totally innocent photographs.”
Kate herself was 17 in the earliest pictures that had been uploaded to the site. Kate’s photos were also printed out and then rephotographed, being used for sexual gratification by men, whose body parts were pictured.
“There were hundreds of them. It’s horrible and traumatic. I want to warn other girls; you see girls with 2,000 Facebook friends; they don’t know all of those people and you can do anything with a photograph these days.”
For Kate, the most frightening aspect of the discovery was that the person who had added her to the site seemed to know her.
“It was somebody who knows me, because my Facebook was on ‘private’ and I’m not somebody who makes friends with people I don’t know on Facebook, for my own safety,” she said.
"The person mentioned my circle of friends and it sounded like he was very familiar with me.”
Katie’s Story: ‘I was just horrified... they followed my life for so long and I had no idea’
Photographs of Katie Kirwan, who is now 19, were posted on a porn site for five years before she learned that someone had harvested Facebook for the images from her teenage life.
“A friend of mine messaged me on Facebook saying she had a friend who found her on it,” Katie said yesterday.
"She decided to look through it for her, and instead she found me amongst several others.”
Katie is one of a number of women from Cork who unknowingly have had their pictures posted on the explicit site. They collectively came forward to raise awareness of the issue, contacting The Neil Prendeville Show on Red FM earlier this week.
“We would all know each other. It was girls that would know each other, you could see that someone had obviously looked at one girl and found another girl through her,” she told the Irish Examiner yesterday.
Katie found out she was on the site earlier this week.
“I was just horrified. There’s no other word for it really,” she said.
PORN Katie has had her entire teen life cyber stalked by international porn site. She has over 1 million likes & horrific comment under pics— Neil Prendeville (@NeilRedFM) January 14, 2016
Photos of Katie as a young teenager were first posted to the site five years ago.
“It was just so scary to think that 14-year-old me was walking around and that, unbeknownst to me, there could have been any weirdo on the street looking at me going ‘oh that’s the girl I’ve seen on the website last night’. I have over a million views,” she said.
“They started posting me five years ago and they stopped in September of last year. They followed my life for so long and I had no idea.”
Katie has reported the matter to the gardaí. Despite contacting the website to report her objections, the pictures remain online and she hasn’t received any reply from the site hosts.
She said that this has all happened despite turning on strict privacy settings on her Facebook account. The women exchanged ideas as to how the pictures have been harvested.
“There are loads of theories, but I really don’t know. The scary thing is it could be anyone,” she said.
“It’s someone in our friends list, definitely. We looked through and we all have one page in common that, when we looked at it closely, appeared to be a fake page.
“That page has since been deleted, so we have a theory that it is the person behind that page.”
The person behind this suspected fake profile deleted their account on Wednesday.
Katie said that she will not allow what happened to her to dictate how she uses the internet.
“It can happen to you at any time, anywhere,” she said. “Even if you don’t use the internet, someone can still take a picture of you and use it like that.
“There are no measures that are enough. I feel that the perpetrators are the problem, they need to be caught and made an example of.
“You don’t have to be on social media for this to affect you,” she said.