The website’s thousands of photos are sorted by location, with folders for specific suburbs and, perhaps more disturbingly, high schools, as revealed last week by Mamamia.
“The Australian Federal Police is aware of the existence of a website which encourages users to upload images of a sexual nature. A number of these images allegedly depict non-consenting and/or underage women,” they wrote in a statement released today.
“The AFP is currently liaising with its domestic and international law enforcement partners and relevant government agencies to evaluate this matter and to determine appropriate courses of action.”
“Aussie sluts” site victim speaks to Channel 7 (post continues after video):
The site is hosted on international servers, which means it can not be shut down by Australian authorities, but individuals whose photos have been shared are encouraged to contact police.
People sharing the images could still be prosecuted though, the AFP warned.
“It is important to note that creating, accessing or distributing child pornography is a serious offence, even if you are a child yourself.”
The investigation will be a joint operation between state and federal police, with NSW Police echoing the warning that users of the site could be arrested and charged.
“Detectives from the Sex Crimes Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit are liaising with law enforcement colleagues in other jurisdictions and making inquiries to determine if any offences have been committed in NSW,” NSW Police said.
They also confirmed they are working with the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner and NSW Department of Education, the Association of independent Schools of NSW and Catholic Schools NSW.
“Anyone who believes their photo has been posted on the site should make a report to their local police.”
In a similar statement Queensland Police said they were also participating in the investigation, but has not received an specific complaints.
“We believe the site is hosted overseas and does not appear to contain any child exploitation material,” Detective Superintendent Cheryl Scanlon of the Child Safety and Sexual Crimes Group said.
He also said he believed most of the photos had been obtained through Facebook.
“We cannot stress how important it is for everyone to protect themselves online. Pictures you post on social media sites are unfortunately there for the taking to anyone who is your friend, or even a friend of a friend.”
Sherele Moody has created a petition to shut down the website. She says the police aren’t doing enough. “The police need to turn the conversation back to the people posting the pics. Asking girls to not acquiesce when their partners request photos of them won’t work – it’s like asking the ocean to hold back the the tide. I’m guessing most of these girls are put in emotionally charged situations by these young men, who ask for the photos as part of their “relationship” and as a sign that they trusted them.”
The investigation follows after a number of stories published by Mamamia last week.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.