Technology Coalition to combat child sexual abuse on the internet

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The Technology Coalition aims to combat child sexual abuse on the internet. The coalition is made of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter.

Formed in 2006, the coalition's objective is to prevent child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) on the web. It works with organizations like Unicef and children’s charities. The coalition also provides financial assistance and advice to tech channels on utilizing child safety tools.


“The world has changed since we first came together in 2006,” the group said in a statement Thursday. “Technology is more advanced, and there has been an explosion of new internet services, including mobile and online video streaming.”

“The number of people online — more than 4.5 billion in 2020 — has added to the challenge of keeping the internet a safe place. As a result, the technological tools for detecting and reporting CSEA content have become more sophisticated, but so too have the forms of abuse we seek to prevent and eradicate.”

Five objectives

As reported by CNBC, there are five goals under the Technology Coalition’s plan to address online CSEA:


• "Invest in innovative tech to tackle child sexual abuse material on the web.

• Hold an annual forum with governments, law enforcement and other stakeholders, as well as periodic events.

• Fund independent research into trends around online child exploitation and measures to prevent it.


• Create new systems and develop existing ones for the sharing of information and threats across the industry.

• Share insights on the reporting of child sexual abuse and form a process for firms to benchmark their progress."

Moreover, the coalition pledges millions of dollars into a research and innovation fund to create new technology. They plan to release annual reports on its progress in solving abusive content.

The consortium partners with international organizations like WePROTECT Global Alliance, an organization founded by UK tech entrepreneur Joanna Shields and the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

The news comes after the Technology Coalition supported 11 principles issued by the so-called “Five Eyes” alliance, which refers to US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Project Protect, according to Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, “brings together the brightest minds from across the tech industry to tackle a grave issue that no one company can solve on its own.”

The UK government is implementing new legislation to target harmful content that promotes child exploitation and terrorism. However, tech firms are under pressure to maintain solid systems in terms of detecting and removing toxic content.

Child sexual abuse during lockdowns

On May 20, UK charity Internet Watch Foundation reported 8.8 million attempts to reach images and video of children suffering sexual abuse during imposed lockdowns.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel described online child sexual abuse as “sickening” and emphasized that “we must all work collaboratively to eradicate this crime.”

“Myself and the Five Country partners have been clear that technology companies need to work quickly and go further to address the critical issues that could leave children vulnerable to online predators,” Patel added.

Encryption in online messaging services

Facebook and YouTube run systems in place to identify and trace images and videos that do not adhere to their content guidelines and stop them from being republished. However, the systems may still have flaws.

Predators target Roblox, a popular online game platform. Roblox says it implements a combination of machine learning and human moderators to assess and block child sexual abuse content before it is uploaded.