The federal government?s ?Operation Predator? app was credited with helping nab yet another man accused of trafficking in child pornography after a 33-year-old man surrendered in California, just days after federal authorities posted his image and story to Facebook and sent it to the more than 100,000 users who have downloaded the application.

Nathan Emery, Homeland Security Investigations agent in charge, stands next to a poster of Jeremiah Malfroid, a 33-year-old California man whose name and image were transmitted by the "Operation Predator" app in connection with a child pornography sting.  (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)
Nathan Emery, Homeland Security Investigations agent in charge, stands next to a poster of Jeremiah Malfroid, a 33-year-old California man whose name and image were transmitted by the ?Operation Predator? app in connection with a child pornography sting.?

At a time when the online world has made life easier for predators to share pornography or try to lure children to be exploited, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are trying to harness the same power to catch them through the Predator app and other online tools.

?Social media is just so huge now. We?re very pleased with our app,? said Brian Widener, head of the computer forensics unit at ICE?s Cyber Crimes Center, who, in a recent interview, said the app had been responsible for two recent captures, including the 33-year-old man, Jeremiah Malfroid, who turned himself in to police in California in part because of pressure from having been featured on the app.

Mr. Widener said there?s a need for dedicated personal and tools?since the problem of online predators is getting worse, judging by the record-setting years they continue to have for enforcement actions.??Until we start to see that number level off, I would say it?s still a problem, and it?s going to continue to be a problem,? he said.