Press Release
March 10, 2021

Hontiveros bares Facebook groups being used by teens to trade sexual videos for money for online learning

Senator Risa Hontiveros has flagged Facebook groups that are used by teenagers to sell sexual videos and images online to fund expenses in online learning.

"Hindi lahat may internet. Hindi lahat may pera para magpa-load araw araw. Hindi lahat may cellphone at laptop. Kaya ang ibang estudyante, napilitan na magbenta ng mga malalaswang larawan at videos nila para matustusan ang kanilang pag-aaral," said Hontiveros, who chairs the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality.

During the committee's hearing, the senator showed a screenshot from an informant who was a member of a Facebook group, named Redroom, which was being used by teenagers to sell nudes.

"Sabi ng informant namin, sumali siya dun, at nagbenta din siya ng mga video niya dahil kailangan niya ng pambili ng load para sa online learning. He already quit the group, but unfortunately, one of his previous clients started blackmailing him to distribute his videos if he doesn't do what his client wants," Hontiveros shared, adding that the Department of Education should also look into the matter.

"This is happening on Facebook, the biggest and most used platform of Filipinos. Kung hindi nag-report ang informant namin, walang nakakaalam na dumadami at dumadami lang ang mga batang naabuso sa social media," the senator said.

Hontiveros said that this particular group, which has over 7,000 members, has since been taken down by Facebook after concerns were raised during the hearing. However, upon further investigation, Hontiveros' office discovered another group with similar content, called Blueroom, which has over 20,000 members.

"In the Blueroom, there are screenshots of conversations about how much load will be paid to a certain account in exchange for sexual activities via video chat. Hindi natin alam kung mga menor de edad sila. Facebook must look into this immediately, and cooperate with law enforcement to clamp down on these online crimes," the senator said.

"Social media networks must be more proactive. They have the duty to use the sophistication of their technology to put an end to this exploitation. Unahin dapat nila ang kapakanan ng ating kabataan, hindi ang kanilang kita," Hontiveros concluded.

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