You may well have seen or heard an article on the BBC news today regarding the failure of Facebook to remove images of children reported to them as ‘sexualised’. To read the article follow this link.
In response to this the Internet Watch Foundation have issued a press release in regards to the work it undertakes to keep children safe in this field.
The IWF receives reports from the public and proactively searches for child sexual abuse images and videos on the internet. When they find known criminal images and videos they work closely with the internet industry to have them removed as quickly as possible. They also provide internet companies with a range of technical services to disrupt the distribution of this appalling material as every single image or video is of a real child being sexually abused.
They act on material that is criminal and fails UK law. Typically, this will be of children aged 10 and under. Even the lowest level images will involve serious sexual abuse. They have 130 members who work closely with them and these include social media companies. They have been working with Facebook since 2009 and most recently they participated in a pilot programme to create and implement The IWF Image Hash List. This is a list of digital fingerprints of known images of child sexual abuse which they can deploy across their service to ensure that any duplicate images are not uploaded in the first place. In 2016 less than 1% of the criminal images and videos actioned by the IWF were on social media platforms.
IWF CEO, Susie Hargreaves, OBE said: “We are never complacent, the reality is that new images and videos of children being sexually abused appear every day and this is why industry, government, law enforcement and the IWF all work in partnership to do whatever we can to remove these images and give these children back some of the childhood that has been stolen from them.”
Original post can be found at https://www.iwf.org.uk/news/statement-iwf-s-work-industry-and-social-networks.