IICSA inquiry says online platforms must check images for child abuse before publication

  • The UK Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has released a major report calling for tech firms to check images uploaded to their platforms for child abuse before publication.

    The internet has enabled us to share common interests with our friends online, but social media websites and apps are now being used for a much more sinister purpose: Enabling abuse. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was set up following several high-profile cases of historic child sexual abuse, and one of its goals is to establish whether major online platforms such as Facebook and Google are failing to protect children.

    The results of the inquiry's findings have been published this month, and they're highly critical of apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. The inquiry found that most platforms didn't have a clear idea of how many people under the age of 13 are using their services, and had no clear plans to address the issue.

    The report highlights that social media has been used both to share indecent imagery and to groom young people in the UK, and recommends new legislation to combat the issue. It calls for platform owners to check images uploaded to their platforms for the presence of child abuse before publication, and suggests that a new regulatory framework could encourage tech firms to tackle the problem directly.

    Both Facebook and Google have previously said that manually checking images and video uploaded to their platforms isn't feasible, with over 500 hours of video now being uploaded to YouTube every minute and over 350 million photos uploaded to Facebook each day. Both services use automated solutions, but the scale of the problem means cases of abuse still slip through.

    Source: BBC News, IICSA Report

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