[imagesource: Dado Ruvic/Reuters]
In October of 2018, Facebook said that the company was successfully removing millions of user images of child nudity with the help of previously undisclosed software that automatically flagged such photos.
The company’s moderators also had a hand in this. It’s no wonder that so many of them report suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
This has clearly not been enough to stop the platform and other Facebook-owned platforms from becoming hubs for the distribution of child pornography.
A recently released report, says Sky News, states that Facebook was responsible for 94% of the 69 million child sex abuse images reported by US technology companies last year.
These figures came to light as seven countries, the UK included, sent out statements warning of the far-reaching, and at times dangerous, impact of end-to-end encryption online.
Facebook has previously announced plans to fully encrypt communications in its Messenger app, as well as its Instagram Direct service – on top of WhatsApp, which is already encrypted – meaning no one apart from the sender and recipient can read or modify messages.
This is supposed to improve privacy on all of its platforms. Law enforcement, however, believes that this privacy, while good for the average user, could also have a devastating effect on its ability to track paedophiles who could use it to share images of children.
Some 16.9 million referrals were made by US tech firms to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) last year, including 69 million images of children being abused – up 50% on the previous year.
Some of the worst images came from Facebook.
This is a double-edged sword. While privacy has become an increasing concern on Facebook for users, the downside of encrypting communication services is also on display.
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