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Team Moore: how this collective traps pedophiles on the internet – France

Steven Moore (1) is a salesperson and lives in Reunion. “I’m a father like so many others,” explains the creator of Team Moore. My children and I have never been victims of sexual violence. But these heinous acts (2) have always shocked me to the highest degree”.

After spending years enriching a specialized blog on the subject, he wanted to move up a gear by becoming active on the web. “It was in March 2019. I was inspired by what was happening in the UK. From a network run by ordinary citizens, who track pedophiles on the web by creating virtual profiles of children. Over time, they have become invaluable allies of the police”. Before starting, Steven Moore takes every precaution, knowing that French legislation on cyber-infiltration is much more restrictive than across the Channel. “We are, for example, prohibited from trapping a pedophile by soliciting him to compromise him”.

“Fear is changing sides”

Steven therefore creates an avatar on Facebook: Alicia, 13 years old. A young girl like so many others. An hour later, a certain Jean comes to pick her up as a “friend”. The man suspects nothing. He asks Alicia for pictures of her breasts and pubis. He posts pornographic videos to her. Very quickly, other men will follow, generally living in French-speaking countries. That day, Steven started something that will quickly overtake him. “Since that day, I haven’t stopped. Daily, I reply to messages after work. It takes me hours. I witness despicable things, worse than immoral. But I’m satisfied. This fight against ignominy pays off. And fear is changing sides.”

Our head is put at a price on the darknet

death threats

A few weeks after his debut on the web, Steven will be joined by other cyber actors. Including Neïla, housekeeper and mother of three children, who lives in the Lyon region. Very active on the networks (read below), it is she who will now carry the voice of the collective with the media and the authorities. Like Steven, she never appears with her face uncovered. “There is a bounty on our heads on the darknet. We regularly receive death threats.”

Over time, the team has grown and now has around fifty activists, mainly women. She is behind 72 arrests of active pedophiles. Half have been judged. “Our action is to accumulate as much evidence as possible, screenshots to confuse these offenders. We allowed the arrest of people who planned to kidnap children and rape them. Their intentions were clear.

For a real legal framework

Despite these results, Team Moore had a hard time establishing itself in France. “Some prosecutors, police and gendarmes were suspicious of us. Even the Keeper of the Seals had the greatest reservations about our work,” continues Steven.

The times have changed. MPs like Maud Petit, from the MoDem, are now pushing for a real legal framework to surround the group’s activities. Also quite recently, Neïla Moore was received by Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister Delegate for the Digital Transition. The Team also managed to obtain the promise that a call service would be set up for “passive” pedophiles who have not acted out and who seek psychological help.

A book that denounces pedophile practices

Neïla Moore, a very active mother with Team Moore, tells her story as a cyberactivist in “Pedophiles are in your children’s pockets”, a recently released book.

. In these pages, she describes in detail the way in which these men behave who come to seek their prey on the Net. We learn that there are two categories of pedophiles: the “guardian angels”, who will act with patience and make the cord of friendship vibrate, and the perverts, who pass directly on the register of sex. These two profiles have the same objective. Neïla also says that at the start of her activity, procedures that were nevertheless well documented sometimes did not lead to any prosecution. She also recounts these exchanges with a man who offered his 13-year-old avatar to “deflower her in the groves”. The man, who seems to act with impunity, will even send him a photo of his national identity card. One is a landscaper, the other works with disabled adults… They are 20, 30, 40, 50, or even older. People socially above suspicion. But all weave their nauseating web around these false profiles. She also recounts the discomfort generated by the content of the messages, which are sometimes very threatening, and the photos sent of erect penises. But also how, sometimes, the members of the collective continue to exchange with the pedocriminals to prevent them from attacking real young girls. * Télémaque editions, 256 pages, €18.50.

1. This is a pseudonym.

2. In 2020, according to Europol, 10% of children connected to the internet would have received sexual solicitations from adults.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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