As police in Oslo continue to investigate a disturbing case involving alleged teenage rapists who publicize their assaults over social media, parents were being warned that they must follow their children’s Internet activity much more closely. Police claim filming of sexual activity and sharing it over social media has become common.
“It’s become socially acceptable for parents to say that they don’t understand any of this (online activity),” Torgeir Waterhouse, a director at technology organization IKT-Norge, told newspaper Aftenposten. “But parents must understand how serious this is. They’re simply not paying attention.”
Police arrested three teenagers whom they described as “completely ordinary Norwegian boys” earlier this month, and charged them with raping five underage girls. Video or photos of the assaults were then published on social media, adding to the “nightmare” for the victims involved. Two of the suspects were later released but one was ordered held in custody pending appeal over the weekend.
“We’re seeing uncritical and unlimited filming of nudity and sexual activity, which is put out on social media,” Kari-Janne Lid of the Oslo Police District told Aftenposten. “Those who are involuntarily exposed to this find it very traumatic, and have suffered health and social consequences. There are also consequences for those publishing the material, because sharing such material is punishable under law.”
The parents of both the victims and boys charged, and officials at the school where the boys are enrolled are now involved in the case. “We have publicized this because we view this as a worrisome phenomenom that goes beyond this case,” Lid said. “We are worried about this aspect of youth culture.”