Stopping the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material: The Ecosystem
74% of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) reported globally to the INHOPE network in 2020 was removed within 3 days, but stopping the spread of CSAM online requires a whole ecosystem of groups and organisations working together.
Below is a list of some of the key roles each organisation can play.
INHOPE Member Hotlines enable the public to anonymously report online material they suspect may be CSAM. A hotline analyst will investigate the report and if confirmed as including CSAM, they act to have the content removed from the internet as rapidly as possible.
Once a hotline analyst has confirmed that a report includes CSAM, they will send a Notice and Takedown Order to the relevant Hosting Provider (HP) or Internet Service Provider (ISP) so that it can be removed. By working together, hotlines, ISPs and HPs are able to make sure that CSAM is taken down as quickly as possible.
Law Enforcement Agencies
Hotline analysts will also share URLs containing CSAM with local law enforcement. Law enforcement can then work to identify and help the victim, and catch the perpetrator.
In some countries, law enforcement also analyse reports to determine if they include CSAM, and act to have the content removed from the internet.
Industry and private technology companies
CSAM is shared online on many different kinds of platforms and channels including websites, social media and gaming platforms, and forums. Technology companies can work to prevent this in a variety of ways including by creating the possibility to flag content directly on their platform, using technology which automatically detects CSAM when it is uploaded, or collaborating with other organisations and experts to perform research, campaign, and develop new technologies.
Learn more about how you can get involved here.
Child protection organisations and NGOs
Child protection organisations can help stop the spread of CSAM by awareness raising, and informing the public about how to report to their national hotline. For countries where no hotline exists, INHOPE can support existing organisations set up a hotline.
Government and policy advocates
Stopping the spread of CSAM relies on an effective national response strategy and good legislation defining CSAM and the related offences in each country. To find out how CSAM is defined in your country, visit your national hotline's website.
As before, if your country does not yet have a hotline, INHOPE are able to support government organisations set up a hotline. Find out more here.
We want everyone to know about the problem of CSAM and what to do if they come across it. This requires developing parental understanding, updating curriculums, and awareness raising on why reporting matters. Educate yourself on what CSAM is here.