Applaud Increased Monitoring and Reporting of Child Pornography

Target: Google, Inc.

Goal: Thank Google for launching an aggressive anti-child pornography initiative

According to a recent report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) noted by CNN, “the [NCMEC] tip line received 17.3 million images and videos of suspected child abuse in 2011. That was four times what the group received in 2007.” These images and videos include child-targeting violence, sexual violence, and child pornography, among other abominable abusive acts. Despite widespread monitoring of websites promoting and disseminating illegal materials, the problem appears to be spreading rapidly.

Tech industry giant Google, however, announced plans to step up its efforts to assist the NCMEC and other child advocacy organizations. According to CNN, “Google… will spend $5 million on an effort to wipe pictures of child sexual abuse from the Web and another $2 million to research more effective ways to find, report and eradicate the images.” Google is also “creating the Child Protection Technology Fund to develop more efficient ways to fight child porn,” including methods of tracking and tracing images of child sexual abuse. The ultimate goal is to “help law enforcement, Web companies and advocates find and remove the images [more quickly and efficiently], as well as prosecute the people who posted them.”

Data provided by partner organization Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) demonstrate the extensive online documentation of child sexual abuse. The IWF 2012 Report notes that there were “9,550 webpages hosting child sexual abuse content” identified, hosted on more than 1,500 domains. For sexual abuse content hosted outside the United Kingdom in 2012 the statistics are even more disturbing: 81% of child victims appeared to be 10 years old or under, and 53% of the content showed “sexual activity between adults and children including the rape and sexual torture of the children.”

Organizations such as the NCMEC and the IWF are essential assets for combating this reprehensible activity. The IWF reported that, for content originating in the UK, 56% of reported content are moved in just 60 minutes or less and 78% are removed in under two hours. The IWF report concludes that “[advocacy organizations] can only do this in partnership with the online industry.” Thanks in part to those critical partnerships, “we are now measuring removal time in a matter of minutes, rather than weeks or days,” thus improving chances for tracing and prosecuting criminals.

Thank Google for helping to fight child pornography and child sexual abuse.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Google, Inc.,

According to a recent report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) noted by CNN, “the [NCMEC] tip line received 17.3 million images and videos of suspected child abuse in 2011. That was four times what the group received in 2007.” A separate report from the Internet Watch Foundation noted that there were “9,550 webpages hosting child sexual abuse content” identified, hosted on more than 1,500 domains. For sexual abuse content hosted outside the United Kingdom in 2012 the statistics are even more disturbing: 81% of child victims appeared to be 10 years old or under, and 53% of the content showed “sexual activity between adults and children including the rape and sexual torture of the children.” These trends and the continued violence against children must end now.

Google’s recent announcement that it will combat child sexual abuse and child pornography, through research and partnerships with advocacy organizations, provides hope for turning the tide in the war against child exploitation online. Building upon previous initiatives, the $5 million fund for removing content and the $2 million research initiative put the weight of your company’s resources behind a critical global human rights issue. Thank you for your leadership in the fight to end pervasive abuses of children.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: D. Sharon Pruitt via Flickr

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