Europe Becomes Hub For Child Sexual Abuse Content

Europe Becomes Hub For Child Sexual Abuse Content.

The Internet Watch Foundation’s Annual Report is designed to be a reference tool to help inform, educate and encourage global action against online child sexual abuse imagery.Europe has become the hub for child sexual abuse content In their 2016 Annual Report. In it’s Report, it further mentioned that every 9 minutes a webpage shows a child is being exploited sexually. So far, around 35,000 hashes have been shared with law enforcement agencies worldwide that contain webpages with child sexual abuse imagery that have been blocked or removed. “53% of children were assessed as aged 10 or under. This is consistent with the trend identified in 2015 which indicated a decrease in younger children being depicted in child sexual abuse imagery assessed by our analysts. In 2016 we saw a further overall drop in the percentage of children we assessed as being aged 10 or younger. In 2013 and 2014, this figure was fairly consistent at around 80%. In 2015, the figure was 69%. We’ve also seen an increase in reports of children we’ve assessed as 11 to 15. We think there are two reasons why we’ve seen more images of 11 to 15 year olds, than children aged 10 and under:

  1. We increasingly see what’s termed “self-produced” content created using webcams and then shared online. This can have serious repercussions for young people and we take this trend very seriously. We’ve looked into this before, and will be launching a new report focusing on online child sexual abuse imagery captured from webcams later in 2017.
  2. By analysing our data further, we know that the public are more likely to report images of children aged 10 and younger, and whose abuse is of a more severe level. However, our actively searched-for images total a larger number than public reports. With more analysts and the ability to actively search for content (since 2014), if we encounter a forum with thousands of images of child sexual abuse, we will not only work to remove that forum, but also now capture the URLs of every image on there (which might be pulled from another site) and follow up to remove each and every image hosted on other sites as well. This technique appears to mean we more commonly encounter more images of 11 to 15 year olds.”

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