With the chat rooms, radio stations and other organizations, pedophiles' views are continually reinforced. But some realize that this online echo chamber can warp reality. For example, a man calling himself AtosW reported to fellow pedophiles that he had been chatting on a game site frequented by boys. A conversation began about the Dutch pedophile party, AtosW said, and the minors reacted with threats of violence.
AtosW was perplexed. "Why are posters THAT young so angry about it?" he asked. "It is after all THEIR rights that they are pushing for."
A man calling himself Ritter responded. "Your post is a typical example of what happens when you spend too much time in the online BL community," he wrote. "Believe it or not, most young children are NOT anxious to have sex with adult men."
An investigation by The New York Times last year disclosed a new frontier in child pornography, in which minors used computer video Webcams to perform on the Internet in exchange for gifts and money. That article, published in December, resulted in a government crackdown, including arrests and the shutdown of major Webcam pornography sites.
The Times's investigation opened a window into an online subculture of pedophiles. This two-part series is a further look into that world and the businesses that have developed to serve it.
Covering this story raised legal issues. United States law makes it a crime to buy, download or view child pornography, unless the images are promptly reported to the authorities and no images are copied or retained. The Times complied with the law, disclosing what it found to appropriate authorities.
Read the first part of this investigation: With Child Sex Sites on the Run, Nearly Nude Photos Hit the Web