Tech companies report 100% increase in online child abuse photos and videos in 12 months

New York Times series explores the exponential growth of online child sexual exploitation and abuse

Posted in: Child Sexual Abuse , Uncategorised

The Internet Is Overrun With Images of Child Sexual Abuse. What Went Wrong? Online predators create and share the illegal material, which is increasingly cloaked by technology. Tech companies, the government and the authorities are no match.

By Michael H. Keller and Gabriel J.X. Dance | New York Times, 28 September 2019

The images are horrific. Children, some just 3 or 4 years old, being sexually abused and in some cases tortured.

Pictures of child sexual abuse have long been produced and shared to satisfy twisted adult obsessions. But it has never been like this: Technology companies reported a record 45 million online photos and videos of the abuse last year.

More than a decade ago, when the reported number was less than a million, the proliferation of the explicit imagery had already reached a crisis point. Tech companies, law enforcement agencies and legislators in Washington responded, committing to new measures meant to rein in the scourge. Landmark legislation passed in 2008.

Yet the explosion in detected content kept growing — exponentially.

An investigation by The New York Times found an insatiable criminal underworld that had exploited the flawed and insufficient efforts to contain it. As with hate speech and terrorist propaganda, many tech companies failed to adequately police sexual abuse imagery on their platforms, or failed to cooperate sufficiently with the authorities when they found it.

Law enforcement agencies devoted to the problem were left understaffed and underfunded, even as they were asked to handle far larger caseloads…

READ AT NYTIMES.COM