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But my 13-year-old son and his friends idolise him.
Middleton and countless others like him (another hugely popular and well-paid group are The Sidemen, who focus on computer football games and who regularly fill Wembley with crowds of enthusiastic fans) have spawned armies of wannabes who are very open to sharing their lives online.
The site insists it is only for those aged 13 and over — but no proof of age is required to join.
It takes just seconds to register an account, after which users can start broadcasting their own live videos — known as ‘live streaming’ — or watch others doing the same.
Fairy lights are twinkling, and music — a highly explicit rap track — is playing in the background.
She dances and strikes poses, tossing her long hair and gyrating her hips.
Viewers are able to send typed messages and tip the ‘broadcasters’ with virtual gifts that they buy through the app.
When the broadcasters have collected at least 40,000 of these ‘gifts’, they can ‘cash out’ — exchanging the virtual gifts for real money.
Her viewers inundate her with appreciative comments.It is this situation, combined with the natural desire of the young to be in within their peer group, and the lure of easy fame and money, that makes live-streaming so popular — and such a fertile hunting-ground for those with less-than-innocent intentions.It is paradise for those who in the real world would not be allowed within 100 yards of a school or playground but who online find themselves with a free pass to access all areas.But Friend, who received a four-year sentence, is just the tip of the iceberg.On Tuesday, the Mail exposed the frightening scale of this problem.There are voices in the background, laughing and joking.‘Can you show me your feet, please? Later on, by now towards evening, yet another girl, a tiny bit older, sits alone at her desk in her bedroom.She is wearing glasses, a small white camisole and dressing gown, and has dyed red hair.Bizarre as it may sound, to today’s generation of pre-teens and teenagers this represents perfectly normal social interaction.They consume this kind of online video content much like we used to consume pop music as youngsters: obsessively and to the frustration of their parents and teachers.In August, a man called Glen Friend acquired the dubious honour of being the first paedophile in Britain to be jailed for targeting a child via a live-streaming app.His victim — whom he persuaded into exposing herself online — was just nine. The girl’s video was seen by almost 300 users, including ten other paedophiles who police are still trying to trace.