NEWS

Pedobear Goes From Internet Meme to Safety Concern

By Carlton Purvis

 

Internet sites and bloggers had a field day in 2010 after the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office distributed the bulletin, saying law enforcement just don’t understand Internet memes and slamming their lack of knowledge of Internet culture.

Gawker’s Adrian Chen says Pedobear is one of the Internet’s most popular memes. In a post from last year titled “Stupid California Police Warn Parents of Pedobear, the ‘Pedophile Mascot’,” Chen wrote, “Pedobear is a meme featuring a cute cartoon bear who pops up wherever people are being creepy about kids on the Internet. Cops in California don't understand this, and have issued a hilarious warning.”

In his post, Chen mocks law enforcement for suggesting that pedophiles would “brand themselves with a logo so we can easily identify them.”

“Jesus, cops can be dumb,” he wrote.

Bryn said, “We took a lot of heat – a lot of national heat on that story because people didn’t read the introduction to the press release that said … ‘We know all about the regular Pedobear thing that it’s supposed to be a joke.’ It’s not a very sensitive way [for the blogs to be] doing business because quite frankly if you’ve ever dealt with child molestation victims, it’s a very devastating situation.”

SAFE commander David Collazo says pedophiles using Pedobear is still an ongoing phenomenon. “Some people deny it, but more often than not agree that it is valid and that that image is related to child pornography on the Internet,” he said by phone on Tuesday. Collazo says pedophiles have used the image to direct others to child porn online. 

“We investigate sex offenders every day of the year and we enter numerous sex offenders’ residences and we’ve come across multiple investigations and multiple interviews where Pedobear [was a factor].”

Gawker’s latest post describes Pedobear as “the Internet superstar who brings joy to millions as a cuddly harbinger of child predation.”

“This is not dark humor. This is not a joke… . We will pursue every lead that we get.” Southard said.


photos by NuyoBoy87/photobucket

 

 

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