For pedophiles, a single hashtag opened the door to one of Instagram’s seediest corners, one where images of sexually exploited accouchement were openly traded as if they were collectibles. For anyone accommodating to engage, award images of child sexual abuse was about as simple analytic for a laptop on Craigslist.

The affairs started in the open with one of several hashtags — #dropboxlinks was one of the most popular, although variants for those gluttonous boys, gay, or a specific age group were prevalent. All it took was afterward (or analytic for) the actual hashtags. Users then moved the chat to clandestine bulletin where they allegedly swapped links of Dropbox folders absolute the adulterous imagery.

“Young boys only,” one bulletin read. “DM me slaves,” said another. “I’ll trade, have all nude girl videos,” wrote one user. For the traders, there was only one rule: you send first. Honor among pedophiles is ambiguous in the Instagram age.

For its part, Instagram accepted the botheration and belted several of the behind hashtags — though more remain. “Keeping accouchement and young people safe on Instagram is hugely important to us,” a agent told  Taylor Lorenz. Instagram, though, fell short of expectations in charwoman up its mess. According to screenshots acquired by Lorenz, Instagram replied to some users, saying that the behind accounts had not abandoned the platform’s terms of service.

Unhappy with Instagram‘s response, the teens who first baldheaded the ring took affairs into their own hands. Through what can only be declared as weaponized meme content, the teens abounding the hashtag with bags of new images, making it more difficult for traders to find others to swap links with.

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fuck! ! i'm bored :( haven't slept a whole lot and i have school in 3 hours #gaydropboxlinks

A post shared by edgelord???? (@tortishere) on

Days after the botheration surfaced, the hashtags appear to be dead. The accounts trading child sexual abuse imagery, however, remain.

We found dozens of them in a brief search just account ago. Many are attempting to move their trading operations to other platforms, like Kik and WhatsApp, abrogation links in their bio for absorbed traders. Some are even attempting to sell their cache via PayPal or Bitcoin payments.

A Dropbox agent told :

Child corruption is a alarming crime and we adjudge in the arch accessible terms anyone who abuses our belvedere to share it. We work with Instagram and other sites to ensure this type of agreeable is taken down as soon as possible. Whenever we’re alerted to doubtable child corruption adumbration on our platform, we act bound to investigate it, take it down, and report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Accouchement (NCMEC) who refers our letters to the adapted authorities.

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