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Twitter leads in child abuse content on social media: Report

November 12, 2019

UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) recently revealed that nearly half of the child abuse content in the social media space is being shared openly on Twitter. According to a report in The Telegraph that accessed the IWF data, 49 percent of the images, videos and URL links, as well as search engines and cloud services found on social media in the last three years were on Twitter. The report further added that it made “up 1,396 of the total 2,835 incidents”.

Child abuse images and videos slipped through Twitter’s filters were available for anyone to see. According to the IWF, the website helps minimise the availability of online sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world. The majority of its work focuses on the removal of child sexual abuse images and videos. 

According to the report, Microsoft’s Bing search engine was ranked second with 604 incidents recorded between 2016 and 2018, followed by Amazon with 375 and Google with 348. “The IWF found 72 incidents of abuse being openly hosted on Facebook, 18 on its sister site Instagram and 22 on YouTube,” the report further stated.

A Twitter spokesperson replied to the IWF report: “We have serious concerns about the accuracy of these figures and the metrics used to produce them. We will continue to work with the IWF to address their concerns and improve the accuracy of their data”.

Susie Hargreaves OBE, CEO of the IWF said that “our data is accurate and recorded fairly and consistently regardless of where we find child sexual abuse material”.

Earlier reports claimed that Microsoft’s search engine Bing is still serving child porn, and certain search terms on the platform brought up child porn images and related keywords. The tech giant has long been at the forefront of combating abuse imagery, even creating a detection tool called “PhotoDNA” almost a decade ago. But many criminals have turned to its search engine Bing as a reliable tool.

“The news comes as part of a report in The New York Times that looks at what the newspaper says is a failure by tech companies to adequately address child pornography on their platforms,” reports CNET.

Source: IANS

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