Caught in the Net - Cybergrooming as a Film Experiment

More and more adolescents are experiencing sexual harassment and abuse online. The perpetrators look for their victims in popular social services like TikTok and Snapchat or in video games like Fortnite. The Czech documentary "Caught on the Net" shows how quickly young girls are confronted with cybergrooming online.

Today, children and young people use the Internet as a matter of course. They play games, chat, watch videos and use popular online services to communicate with their peers. In the process, they increasingly experience sexual harassment and sexual abuse. Cybergrooming refers to the initiation of sexual assault against minors on the Internet. Services known to be used by children and young people are of particular interest to perpetrators. These include large online platforms such as Twitch, social networks such as TikTok, but also online games and gaming platforms such as Fortnite or Steam. After the first contact, the perpetrators often try to switch to more private communication channels, such as messenger or video chat services (Skype).

Documentary "Caught on the Net"
The Czech documentary "Caught on the Net" uses an experiment to show how quickly children and young people can become victims of cybergrooming. Three very young-looking, adult women pretend to be twelve-year-olds on various social media platforms. They chat in recreated children's rooms with strange men. According to the filmmakers, the girls are contacted by more than 2000 perpetrators (mostly men) within 10 days. They ask for online sex, send explicit photos and videos, and some try to blackmail the girls. The film "Caught on the Net" is available in two versions: The longer theatrical version is rated 16+ (FSK16) and shows, albeit pixelated, very explicit adult sexual acts on screen. The so-called "school version", with an FSK release from 12 years, is about 60 minutes long and largely does without explicit depictions. In addition, the protagonists in the school version give tips on how young people can protect themselves from sexual violence online.

Note for educators:
Depending on the developmental stage of a child or possible personal experiences with sexual abuse, the school version can also be disturbing or even act as a "trigger. If the film is to be used in a school context, sufficient time should be planned for preparation and follow-up, and the parents or guardians should be informed in detail.

All information on the film and accompanying material for schools can be found at:

What to do about cybergrooming?
Contrary to what is shown in the film, not only girls but also boys are victims of cybergrooming, and the perpetrators can be of any age and gender. Clear rules for dealing with strangers in the chat can help protect children from cybergrooming. In the klicksafe topic area Cybergrooming, we provide information on what cybergrooming means, give tips on how to sensitize children to cybergrooming, and link to services that offer help with cybergrooming.

Recognizing warning signals in chat
With the klicksafe poster "Warning signals in chat" you can sensitize children and young people to warning signals that indicate something is wrong. In this way, they learn how to stop assaultive chat communication at an early stage. In addition, children and young people learn where they can find help and what they can do if they are confronted with sexual harassment. Free download at

Further information