MAPs - Minor Attracted Persons
MAPs, Minor Attracted Persons, aka pedophiles, have been present on the internet for a long time. It sounds far-fetched, doesn’t it? Previously, there have been investigations by the BBC and the UK's Daily Mail finding platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter with pedophile communities attempting to rebrand themselves as ‘Minor-Attracted Persons’. Through these social media sites, they are also trying to re-categorize pedophilia as a harmless sexual preference. Furthermore, anonymous users have created hashtags such as "# MAPPride" and "# MAPpositivity."
The platform of choice? It’s Twitter and they aren’t hiding it.
What are MAPs? MAP is an acronym for "minor-attracted person". There are also NMAPS or NoMAPS, meaning "nonoffending minor-attracted people." Non-offending MAPs are pedophilia inclined people who do not consume child porn or harm children. Regular MAPs would consume child porn but not "harming" children directly. It is interesting to note the internal dynamics and lower-level agreements regarding this community's level of ethics.
Compounding concerns are their ages. They aren’t all adults, and a sizable portion is in their mid-teens. Some of the MAP profiles include the acronym "AOA", meaning "age of attraction", followed by a specific age range.
Stranger yet? There are minors who consider themselves allies of MAPs. They believe pedophiles are not at fault or wrong because of their attraction, which is a state of nature. These are also the minors advocating for societal norms that include pedophiles being given the ability to live openly and freely.
Sadly, this is not the first time such a type of campaign has started online. According to reports, in the 1970s and 80s, the Pedophile Information Exchange (PIE) campaign took advantage of the gay liberation movement at the time to push for pro-child policies. These policies included lowering the age of consent to four.
Remember NAMBLA? They're still lurking around too...
Though the PIE campaign was dissolved in 1984, the investigation has found the former chairman, Tom O’Carroll, is still active and using social sites to argue for the legalization of pedophilia. In one "interview", which is still on YouTube, O’Carroll - claims that a sexual relationship between an adult and a child is similar to a relationship between a child and a parent. In 2006, O’Carroll was given a two-year jail term for child pornography.
The report stated that there are university academics supporting these campaigns, as they believe pedophiles’ voices should be heard. One such academic is Dr. Craig Harper, senior lecturer in psychology at Nottingham Trent University, who signed a 2018 letter written to Twitter demanding the retrieval of pedophile accounts that were taken down. Harper stated that "pedophilia and child abuse are not the same things" and "pedophilia is a sexual attraction pattern that shares common features with other sexual orientations".
Child sex abuse survivor Jacqui Dillon, who runs the Beck Road Alliance online support network, said: ‘This is absurd and dangerous. Twitter and other corporations are now providing pedophiles with access to children online.’
It’s important to be cautious about whom we engage. If you were unaware of this information before now, are you really prepared for conversations with people you don’t really know?