The Daily Beast: The Secret Sex Workers’ Database That Brought Down a Plastic Surgeon Accused of Rape. “After a high-end escort in Los Angeles believed she was drugged, raped, and filmed without consent by an Ohio plastic surgeon in town for a conference, she logged onto a secret database that women use to warn each other about predatory men. She saw several horrifying reviews of Dr. Manish Gupta, a flashy Toledo doctor who drove a blue Maserati and regularly flew to medical conferences in cities around the U.S.”
New York Times: U.S. to Hold Tech Firms Accountable for Spread of Child Sex Abuse Imagery. “Legislation announced on Thursday aimed at curbing the spread of online child sexual abuse imagery would take the extraordinary step of removing legal protections for tech companies that fail to police the illegal content. A separate, international initiative that was also announced takes a softer approach, getting the industry to voluntarily embrace standards for combating the material.”
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.”
ProPublica: We Assembled the Only Nationwide Database of Priests Deemed Credibly Accused of Abuse. Here’s How. . “ProPublica published an interactive database on Tuesday that lets users search for clergy who have been listed as credibly accused of sexual abuse in reports released by Catholic dioceses and religious orders. It is, as of publication, the only nationwide database of official disclosures. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the religious leaders’ national membership organization, does not publicly release any centralized, countrywide collection of clergy members who have been credibly accused of sexual assault.”
Sojourners: Why Social Media Is a Last Resort for Survivors of Clergy Abuse. “Mainstream media has played a crucial role in giving voice to survivors. As Christine Parker pointed out in a recent interview with Robert Downen: ‘Church leaders aren’t listening to survivors until the media tells their story for them.’ The rise of social media in the past decade has provided an additional — and no less significant — outlet for #ChurchToo survivors to tell their stories, though not without great cost.”
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.”
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.”
Phys .org: Professor’s research paints picture of #MeToo movement’s origins. “With the help of machine learning, [Sepideh] Modrek and her research assistant Bozhidar Chakalov studied more than 12,000 #MeToo tweets posted between Oct. 15 and 21. After applying and gaining access to Twitter’s application programming interface, or API, they were able to count every undeleted #MeToo tweet. They then downloaded a representative subset, which helped them describe magnitude of the movement in terms of size, demographics and the personal narratives shared.”
The Hamilton Spectator: Over two years, Project Arachnid has flagged 10 million images of suspected child pornography. “Scanning 12,000 images per second, the two-year-old tool — called Project Arachnid — has scanned nearly 80 billion images and flagged 10 million as suspected images of child sexual abuse. It has also gathered millions of words shared between pedophiles detailing their strategies and techniques for grooming and abusing children.” This entire article is a trigger warning. I gagged twice. If you skip this one I don’t blame you.
The Hindu: Sexual abuse victims sue to open Vatican archives. “The lawsuit in a U.S. federal court, which will be formally announced in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota on Tuesday, aims to compel the Vatican to open its archives and ‘release all the identities of thousands of offenders known exclusively by the Vatican and held in strict secrecy,’ lawyer Jeff Anderson said in a statement. “
Korea JoongAng Daily: Sex slave documents detailed in a full catalogue. “The four-volume publication lists all the documents compiled by the [Northeast History Foundation] since it was launched in 2006 through the end of last year from Japan, the Allied Powers during World War II, China, Taiwan and Thailand. The catalogue can be used as a comprehensive reference of documents on the Imperial Japanese Army’s forceful recruitment of girls and young women into sexual slavery before and during World War II. It also includes records that have yet to be revealed to the Korean public gathered from the Second Historical Archives of China and the National Archives of Thailand.” The material will be put into an online database in April.
CNN: Instagram is leading social media platform for child grooming. “More children are being groomed on Instagram than on other social media platforms, new figures suggest, leading to calls for tech companies to face stronger child welfare regulations. Overall, police in England and Wales have recorded more than 5,000 cases of online grooming since having sexual communications with a child became a crime in April 2017, child protection charity the NSPCC found.”
Houston Chronicle: 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms. “In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state.”
PR Newswire: Nationally-recognized Attorney Launches Comprehensive Database of Clergy Accused of Sexual Misconduct in the Diocese of Scranton (PRESS RELEASE). “Adam Horowitz, a nationally-recognized advocate for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, announces the launch of a new database of clergy and lay employees accused of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Scranton. The database, which includes 79 priests, 1 nun, and 5 lay employees as of today, is believed to be the most comprehensive list of accused offenders available. For the benefit of survivors and journalists alike, Horowitz and his team have painstakingly prepared individual profiles on dozens of accused offenders to consolidate available information about their backgrounds, alleged crimes, and, in the case of offenders who are still alive, their current locations.”