Last year, a teenager named "Alexei" (not his real name) was aimlessly surfing the web from his home in Moscow when he came across a curious collection of YouTube videos. Each clip featured different people, but they all followed the same basic script: a middle-aged man enters the scene expecting to have sex with a teenage boy he met on a dating website. Instead, he’s greeted by a group of young Russians who proceed to lecture, humiliate, and abuse him.

Within minutes, the plot is laid bare. The boy he met online was a decoy — a fake online persona created to lure him into a trap. Like spiders toying with a fresh fly, the young Russians behind the operation ridicule and excoriate the alleged pedophile, forcing him to pose with dildos, painting his face, and pouring urine over his head. A cellphone catches it all on video, but cuts off just as the group begins kicking and punching him.