Britain’s most notorious child-sex offenders are using mainstream websites such as YouTube, Twitter and Instagram to rebrand paedophilia as a harmless sexual preference, an investigation for The Mail on Sunday has found.
Hundreds of disturbing accounts are being set up every day which refer to both potential and prolific abusers as ‘MAPs’ – Minor-Attracted Persons – to escape the ‘stigma’ attached to the word paedophile.
The anonymous users have even created their own rainbow ‘MAP Pride’ flag – with some arguing they should be celebrated as a niche group alongside the LGBT community.
LGBT-style slogans such as ‘#MAPPride’ and ‘#Mappositivity’, are seen as an attempt to cast paedophilia as part of society’s wider move towards sexual liberation.
The Mail on Sunday has learned that former chairman of PIE, Tom O’Carroll (pictured above in a YouTube video), Britain’s most notorious paedophile campaigner, continues to use online forums to argue for the legalisation of paedophilia
Material found online includes memes proclaiming ‘Gay MAPs are amazing’ and cartoon characters saying: ‘Repost if you think maps should be able to date minors.’
One paedophile account @SandMapMinorva – since suspended – posted: ‘Minor-attraction is natural.’
Profiles of the anonymous users, which use cartoon avatars rather than photographs, often list the ages of children they are most attracted to, in some cases as low as ‘two to seven’.
Otep Shamaya, a gay rights campaigner, said: ‘They are a fiendish group of sub-humans and they will find no haven in the LGBTQ community. We utterly rebuke their delusional and evil claims.’
The horrifying propaganda has chilling echoes of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) campaign in the 1970s and 80s which piggy-backed on the gay liberation movement to push for pro-child abuse policies, such as lowering the age of consent to just four.
It was disbanded in 1984, but The Mail on Sunday has learned that its former chairman, Tom O’Carroll, Britain’s most notorious paedophile campaigner, continues to use online forums to argue for the legalisation of paedophilia.
O’Carroll (pictured above as chairman of PIE in the 1970s) was given a two-year jail term for child pornography offences in 2006 and joined the Labour Party in 2015 but was ousted a year later for being a ‘safeguarding risk’
In one ‘interview’ which YouTube has refused to take down, O’Carroll, 75, argues that a sexual relationship between an adult and child is as natural as a mother’s relationship with her baby.
O’Carroll was given a two-year jail term for child pornography offences in 2006 and joined the Labour Party in 2015 but was ousted a year later for being a ‘safeguarding risk’.
As well as YouTube, he has campaigned to legalise sex with children on his WordPress blog.
Elsewhere on YouTube, explicit footage appears in videos aimed at children.
One woman, Sarah, was horrified to find some of the content by accident. ‘My nephew, when he was five, was watching a YouTube video when the Disney characters started snorting cocaine and having an orgy,’ she said.
The findings are all the more concerning given that many children are being encouraged by schools to use sites such as YouTube as part of their home education during the pandemic.
While social media giants remove users for posting racist or extremist material, the ‘MAP’ posts are allowed to stay – despite protests – because it is deemed acceptable to discuss attraction to minors as long as it does not ‘glorify’ paedophilia.
Disturbingly, the campaign is also drawing strength from academics calling for paedophiles’ voices to be heard.
Dr Craig Harper, senior lecturer in psychology at Nottingham Trent University, signed a 2018 letter written to Twitter demanding that paedophile accounts which were shut down by the social media giant be restored.
Controversially, Dr Harper maintains that ‘paedophilia and child abuse are not the same thing’ and ‘paedophilia is a sexual attraction pattern that shares common features with other sexual orientations’. He declined to comment when contacted by this newspaper.
Child sex abuse survivor Jacqui Dillon, who runs the Beck Road Alliance online support network, said: ‘This is absurd and dangerous. Twitter and other corporations are now providing paedophiles with access to children online.’
Twitter said it had ‘zero tolerance for any material that features or promotes child sexual exploitation’.
After being alerted by this newspaper, YouTube removed some postings and has increased protection for young viewers.
WordPress said it had suspended all three blogs linked to O’Carroll.