TechDigits

Tech news
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

Self-generated sexual abuse of children aged seven to 10 rises two-thirds

Self-generated sexual abuse of children aged seven to 10 rises two-thirds

Disturbing global trend should be ‘entirely preventable’, says Internet Watch Foundation head

Incidents of children aged between seven and 10 being manipulated into recording abuse of themselves have surged by two-thirds over the past six months, according to a global report.

Almost 20,000 reports of self-generated child sexual abuse content were seen by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) in the first six months of this year, compared with just under 12,000 for the same period this year. The disturbing global trend has grown rapidly since the initial coronavirus lockdown, with cases involving that age group up 360% since the first half of 2020.

The IWF’s chief executive, Susie Hargreaves, said self-generated abuse should be “entirely preventable”, which should include educating parents, carers and children about technology use and sexual abuse within the home.

“Child sexual abuse, which is facilitated and captured by technology using an internet connection, does not require the abuser to be physically present, and most often takes place when the child is in their bedroom – a supposedly ‘safe space’ in the family home. Therefore, it should be entirely preventable,” she said.

“Only when the education of parents, carers and children comes together with efforts by tech companies, the government, police and third sector, can we hope to stem the tide of this criminal imagery.”

The IWF operates a UK-based hotline and also reports on instances of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) around the world. While the fastest increase in self-generated imagery was among the seven to 10 age group, the 11 to 13 age group generates the largest amount of such images reported by the IWF, with 56,000 images flagged in the first six months of the year. There was also an increase of 137% in self-generated images of boys aged between seven and 13.

Self-generated child sexual abuse imagery is typically created using webcams or smartphones and then shared online on a growing number of platforms. The IWF says children are groomed, deceived or extorted into producing an image or video of themselves.

It said most examples occur in bedrooms, where toys, laundry baskets and wardrobes can be seen in the background. In one case, a child can be seen apparently reading instructions on a screen, while in another the edge of a blanket is visible, implying that the victim is ready to quickly shut down or hide what they have been asked to do.

Tamsin McNally, manager of IWF’s hotline, said a number of factors could be behind the growth of self-generated abuse images since 2020. “It might be due to lockdown and children being at home more and having access to the internet, or it could be that we are uncovering more cases because our techniques for finding this sort of content have improved,” she said.

McNally added that the setting of the images and videos was shocking. She said: “This is not some alleyway or dark basement. It is in family homes … sometimes you can hear their parents outside the rooms.”

The IWF also warned in its annual report this year that children as young as between three and six were becoming victims of self-generated sexual abuse. Images are distributed through online forums, having been taken from image host sites. It said the five biggest sites used to store self-generated images of seven to 10-year-olds had not been used for that purpose before.

Hargreaves added that the UK online safety bill was essential for setting a regulatory example around the world. The bill, whose progress through parliament has been delayed until the autumn, requires tech firms to limit the spread of illegal content such as child sexual abuse images.

Companies will be required to report any child abuse material on their platforms to the National Crime Agency, if they do not have an arrangement in place with another body – such as the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The communications regulator, Ofcom, will have the power to fine companies either £18m or 10% of global turnover and, in extreme cases, block websites or apps.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TechDigits
0:00
0:00
Close
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The future of sports
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
UK Crypto and Stablecoin Regulations Become Law as Royal Assent is Granted
A Delaware city wants to let businesses vote in its elections
Alef Aeronautics Achieves Historic Milestone with Flight Certification for World's First Flying Car
Google Blocked Access to Canadian News in Response to New Legislation
French Politicians Advocate for Pan-European Regulation on Social Media Influencers
Melinda French Gates Advocates for Increased Female Representation in AI to Prevent Bias
Snapchat+ gains 4 million paying subscribers in its first year
Apple Makes History as the First Public Company Valued at $3 Trillion
Elon Musk Implements Twitter Limits to Tackle Data Scraping, but Faces Criticism for Technical Misunderstanding
EU and UK's Slow Electric Vehicle Adoption Raises Questions About the Transition to Green Mobility
Top Companies Express Concerns Over Europe's Proposed AI Law, Citing Competitiveness and Investment Risks
Meta Unveils Insights on AI Usage in Facebook and Instagram, Amid Growing Calls for Transparency
Crypto Scams Against Seniors Soar by 78% in 2022, Experts Urge Vigilance
The End of an Era: National Geographic Dismisses Last of Its Staff Writers
Shield Your Wallet: The Perils of Wireless Credit Card Theft
Harvard Scientist Who Studies Honesty Accused Of Data Fraud, Put On Leave
Putting an End to the Subscription Snare: The Battle Against Unwitting Commitments
The Legal Perils of AI: Lawyer Faces Sanctions for Relying on Fictional Cases Generated by Chatbot
ChatGPT’s "Grandma Exploit": Ingenious Hack Exposes Loophole in AI, Generates Free Software Codes
The Disney Downturn: A Near Billion-Dollar Box Office Blow for the House of Mouse
A Digital Showdown: Canada Challenges Tech Giants with The Online News Act, Meta Strikes Back
Distress in the Depths: Submersible and Passengers Missing in Titanic Wreckage Expedition
Mark Zuckerberg stealing another idea: Twitter
European Union's AI Regulations Risk Self-Sabotage, Cautions smart and brave Venture Capitalist Joe Lonsdale
Nvidia GPUs are so hard to get that rich venture capitalists are buying them for the startups they invest in
Chinese car exports surge
Reddit Blackout: Thousands of Communities Protest "Ludicrous" Pricing Changes
Nvidia Joins Tech Giants as First Chipmaker to Reach $1 Trillion Valuation
AI ‘extinction’ should be same priority as nuclear war – experts
×