New York Times: Tech Companies Detect a Surge in Online Videos of Child Sexual Abuse. “The number of reported photos, videos and other materials related to online child sexual abuse grew by more than 50 percent last year, an indication that many of the world’s biggest technology platforms remain infested with the illegal content.”
US Department of Justice: Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for Orchestrating Snapchat Sextortion Ring that Targeted Children. “U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, Chief W. Howard Harrison of the Planation Police Department, and Chief Dale Engle of the Davie Police Department, announced that Joseph Isaiah Woodson, Jr., 30, of Ashburn, Virginia, was sentenced yesterday to a total of 600 months in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez, after having been convicted at trial of using the internet to target and extort children through sexual exploitation (‘sextortion’) and pornographic offenses.”
New York Times: No ‘Magic Bullets’ in the Fight Against Online Abuse, but ‘Spiders’ Help. “Sexual predators have grown increasingly adept at using the internet to share and view child sexual abuse photos and videos. Some have computer-programming skills and have deployed sophisticated defenses against efforts to take them down. But the predators don’t have free rein on the internet, thanks to nearly four dozen child protection hotlines around the world, which act as a first line of defense against the explosion of imagery.”
The Verge: The Terror Queue. “Peter, who has done this job for nearly two years, worries about the toll that the job is taking on his mental health. His family has repeatedly urged him to quit. But he worries that he will not be able to find another job that pays as well as this one does: $18.50 an hour, or about $37,000 a year. Since he began working in the violent extremism queue, Peter noted, he has lost hair and gained weight. His temper is shorter. When he drives by the building where he works, even on his off days, a vein begins to throb in his chest.” This is about moderating content at Google and YouTube. It left me in tears. A disturbing but important read.
BT: Landmark data sharing agreement made to cut spread of child sex abuse imagery. “The UK’s Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is to work with a US counterpart to create the biggest database of hashed child abuse images in the world to help fight the spread of such content. The IWF will work with the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the US to share known content with each other – helping internet companies stop the upload, sharing and storing of such content.”
New York Times: Video Games and Online Chats Are ‘Hunting Grounds’ for Sexual Predators. “Sexual predators and other bad actors have found an easy access point into the lives of young people: They are meeting them online through multiplayer video games and chat apps, making virtual connections right in their victims’ homes.”
BBC: Facebook removes 11.6 million child abuse posts. “Facebook has released the latest figures in its efforts to remove harmful content from its platforms. They reveal 11.6 million pieces of content related to child nudity and child sexual exploitation were taken down between July and September 2019. For the first time, Facebook is also releasing figures for Instagram and including numbers for posts related to suicide and self-harm.”