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The Lucy Faithfull Foundation Statement on Facebook announcing removal of child nudity images

24 October 2018

Facebook has today announced development of new software that allows it to automatically flag sexualised images of children.

According to a BBC Online report, Facebook says its moderators have used the software to remove 8.7 million sexual images of children in just three months.

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation responds to Facebook's announcement today as follows:

"We welcome moves to make the internet a safer place for children and young people. So we are pleased to see the measures set out by Facebook today to increase the online safety of children and young people using their platform. But much more still needs to be done by social media platforms and internet companies if they are really serious about making children’s online safety a reality.

"The internet has been a game-changer in enabling people who sexually abuse children to vastly increase the numbers of sexual images of children they download and share. The internet has also made it far easier for abusers to groom children as this can now be done under an online cloak of anonymity. With so much sexual abuse and exploitation of children happening in the online space owned by big tech, it therefore follows that no one has a greater responsibility than tech companies themselves to follow Facebook's example today by developing their own measures to tackle online child sexual abuse and exploitation. 

"Furthermore, no other organisations – not even law enforcement or government – are better placed, or better resourced, than tech companies to take the sort of action that will have an impact, including the removal of abusive content, not allowing it to be uploaded in the first place, and blocking abusers from their platforms and technologies.

"One way tech companies and social media platforms could demonstrate a real commitment to child safety – and have a much greater impact – is by investing in child safety research and development up front. Safeguards should be built into all products at development stage of new apps and technologies. These should not be considered later – almost as an afterthought. We would also welcome tech companies doing much much more to disrupt the online activity of abusers, and signpost them to places where they can access help to change their behaviour – such as our Stop it Now! Helpline. That’s because our work with offenders shows that many people who sexually abuse children online can, and do, change their behaviour when they are given help to stop."

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The Lucy Faithfull Foundation

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation is a Registered Charity No. 1013025, and is a company limited by guarantee, Registered in England No. 2729957.

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