Over 1000 Danish youths charged for sharing sex videos on social network

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Over 1,000 young people are facing charges in Denmark after allegedly sharing two sexually explicit videos and a photograph involving underage subjects on Facebook Messenger. "And it must be stopped", Lau Thygesen, a police inspector with North Zealand Police, was quoted by the newspaper Copenhagen Post as saying.

According to the Local, the investigation, code named Umbrella, originally began after a tip from Facebook which received complaints about a sex video featuring people younger than 18 being shared via the social network's Messenger service.

The case - the biggest of its kind in Denmark - follows calls for greater efforts to clamp down on revenge porn and distribution of private material after young women past year detailed in local newspapers how their lives had been destroyed by the publication of photos and video intended only for their partners.

Facebook told U.S. authorities and the case reached Denmark through Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency. Some 800 are male (Bloomberg).

"We have taken the case very seriously as it has had serious consequences for those involved because of how the material has been spread".

It also comes amid growing concern about sexting among school-age children and instances of revenge porn.

The case involves around 800 males and 200 females, majority between the ages of 15 and 20. "But they may not also understand that it is punishable and that they may be sentenced for distributing child pornography".

The charges followed an extensive, co-ordinated police effort that dates back to March 2015, when the video was widely shared online and gained national attention as "one of the worst sexual violations recorded on camera in Denmark".

Some suspects are over 18 and were called to police stations to be interviewed. Superintendent Flemming Kjaerside is from the Danish National Police's Cyber Crime Centre.

"It's quite very bad for those who appear on the videos, as their sexual act is now being shared online so many can see it", said Police Superintendent Flemming Kjaerside of the National Cyber Crime Center told Danish television.