This article was written a very long time ago. I left the publication that I intended to publish this on as I had too much going on IRL. This article was left unfinished and never saw the light of day.
But with everything that’s been going on, I think this is more relevant than ever.
We need to do better. We need to protect children in gaming spaces. We need to make them aware that it’s never okay for an adult to talk to them in a way that makes them uncomfortable.
I created a second Discord account for this (surprisingly, not against terms of service). I joined 10 of the most popular “social” Discords that I found off of Disboard.com, a service that indexes and advertises servers based on tags. What they all had in common: thousands of active members, and a self-tagging system to indicate your age, location, hobbies, and other flavor texts. I hopped in, uploaded an old class photo of me from 6th grade, and manually set my age to 13 in each Discord. I said nothing.
And then waited.
Further along the line, I ran into a discord that had an “expose” channel. Here, plenty of kids, some claiming to be as young as 11 posted screenshots of older men and women making sexual advances on them. Maybe they received bans from that Discord– a minor slap on the wrist for this kind of offense. A lot of them laughed about it. They memed about it. But that’s not enough to cover the psychological damage from gradually being sexualized more and more at such a young age– and that’s not enough for the few individuals that ended up carrying out a sexual relationship with someone twice their age.
I am pretty passionate about exposing pedophiles
Some may describe me as “almost concerningly passionate about exposing pedophiles in general” and they wouldn’t be quite wrong.
I started streaming on Twitch at the ripe old age of 14.
It was a shitshow interesting experience that broke my period of isolation due to health issues and brought me in touch with many wonderful people with similar interests who still support me today. But it wasn’t all great.
See, it’s a basic statistics game. I was never even a huge streamer– at my peak I averaged 20 or so viewers who had low enough standards to spend their time watching a young teenage girl troll kids in ranked games. But around that time, a good 50,000 or so people had opened my stream (and closed it upon immediately realizing what a huge mistake they’ve made.) That means your existence is still being exposed to thousands of people. Let’s say the vast majority of them aren’t pedophiles (generally a safe assumption to make), that still means.. let’s say one in 1,000..
That’s enough to expose a streamer to a lot of bad actors.
Adults have more experience– you may recognize the warning signs and red flags that your kid didn’t notice at all.
I look back at dozens, and I mean dozens of conversations with adult men today where I realize there were more red flags there than at a CCP rally. I was too inexperienced to realize what the hell was going on. It’s so much worse than I remember.
Behold the unfinished masterlist of Discord and Instagram pedophiles. The identity of the victims have been blacked out to protect their online presence.
This includes both screenshots taken by me and screenshots volunteered by teenagers in our communities.
8. “let me just send someone a photo of a gun to prove I’ll kill myself if you don’t send me nudes”