Disclaimer: I am by no means endorsing pedophilia, on the Dark Web or anywhere. This article is for purely academic purposes only. Please note that in my research, I did not go farther than directories of pedophilia, and did not go to visit or download any objectionable content.
The warning one hears the most when venturing into the Dark Web is “careful what you click on.” Pedophilia, or CP (for Child Porn) as it is commonly referred to on the on Dark Web, is extremely accessible. As we’ve noted earlier, pornography is accepted on the Surface Web with some regulation — the main one being that all models are at least eighteen years old. The Dark Web breaks that regulation and offers various kinds of sites and forums for those wishing to engage in pedophilia.
The main directory on the Dark Web is the Hidden Wiki, a resource not only for pedophiles, but for other deviant groups as well:
The [Hidden Wiki] does not just help paedophiles, who are even offered advice on creating new secure websites to distribute more images of child abuse. It also promotes money laundering services, contract killing, cyber attacks to order and restricted chemicals, along with instructions on how to make explosives (Williams, Telegraph)
Many directories on the Dark Web make few efforts to conceal themselves, and there are sites based on certain fetishes or locations:
As with other Dark Web sites, the links to these sites frequently change to evade detection.
While actual pedophilia is available, so are non-mainstream views regarding pedophilia. One site on the Dark Web had what seemed to be a fifteen-page treatise on why pedophilia was okay. The article, titled “Antisexuality and Child Sexual Abuse,” appears to be diligently researched, with well over twenty sources from ‘scholarly sources.’ The author writes about how “children are more sexually involved than we believe” (Heidenwut). The paper concludes with: “When anger is advanced as a positive healing force (Bass & Davis, 1988) and aggression becomes more palatable than tenderness and affection and men go to prison for kissing boys, something is amiss” (ibid).
The most fascinating part of something like pedophilia on the Dark Web is that it shows that there is a limit for unregulated media and speech. While drugs, murder, terrorism, and even rape videos, are untouched on the Dark Web, a group of users were morally inclined and disgusted enough to police the unpoliceable Dark Web.
The group Anonymous, commonly associated with Occupy Wall Street and other cyber-activism reportedly shut down many Dark Web child porn in Operation Darknet. Anonymous later posted the IP addresses of these users after claiming that law enforcement agencies were taking too long to prosecute the offenders:
Anonymous “hacktivists” first approached the company hosting Lolita City and demanded it remove the abhorrent material. When their demands were ignored, they launched a two-pronged digital assault, forcing the hosting company offline and breaching the security of Lolita City’s systems to publicly expose the login details of more than 1,500 paedophiles.
“It does not matter who you are, if we find you to be hosting, promoting, or supporting child pornography, you will become a target,” Anonymous said. (Williams, Telegraph)
Video: Manifesto by Anonymous describing Operation Darknet
This ostensibly changes how we view the Dark Web. We have analysed the Dark Web as a place where anything goes, but even in an unregulated society, vigilante groups will strike the most abhorrent content.