Online tool cracks down on child sexual abuse images

Click to play video: 'Backlog for online tool which cracks down on child sexual abuse images' Backlog for online tool which cracks down on child sexual abuse images
An online tool designed to recognize videos and images that have child sexual abuse is dealing with a massive backlog – Jan 17, 2022

Five years ago the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) launched a global online tool to identify images of child sexual exploitation for the purpose of removing them from the internet.

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To date, the tool — Project Arachnid — has assisted in the removal of six million instances of child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

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“We never knew that there was any hope for getting the images of our abuse taken down from the internet,” says a CSAM survivor, supported by C3P, in a press release.

“We always thought it was another thing that we could not control. Now that we know that there are actually ways to do it, we want it all shut down. We don’t want any more children to have to deal with what we deal with if that can be fixed.”

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Project Arachnid achievements also come with continued concern for the extent of it’s CSAM findings. There aren’t enough people available to assess the large amounts of flagged content and proceed with takedown requests.

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As a result, C3P has a backlog of 35 million images/videos.

According to C3P’s Executive Director, Lianna McDonald, the data from Project Arachnid sheds light on the global availability of online CSAM.

“This is just what our platform has found. We’ve only just started to really pull back the curtain on what has been a silent epidemic and assess the threat,” she says.

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Project Arachnid is working with a number of originations to further its reach.

“We are collectively working to expedite the removal of CSAM that has traumatically impacted survivors for years, if not decades. We have left society’s most vulnerable to be continually exploited online for far too long. This has to end.”

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