The Internet Is Overrun With Images of Child Sexual Abuse. What Went Wrong?
Posted in: Child Protection&Online Safety at 29/09/2019 23:34
Online predators create and share the illegal material, which is increasingly cloaked by technology. Tech companies, the government and the authorities are no match.
The images are horrific. Children, some just 3 or 4 years old, being sexually abused and in some cases tortured.
Pictures of child sexual abuse have long been produced and shared to satisfy twisted adult obsessions. But it has never been like this: Technology companies reported a record 45 million online photos and videos of the abuse last year.
More than a decade ago, when the reported number was less than a million, the proliferation of the explicit imagery had already reached a crisis point. Tech companies, law enforcement agencies and legislators in Washington responded, committing to new measures meant to rein in the scourge. Landmark legislation passed in 2008.
Yet the explosion in detected content kept growing — exponentially.
Preying on Children: The Emerging Psychology of Pedophiles
Images of child sex abuse have reached a crisis point on the internet, spreading at unprecedented rates in part because tech platforms and law enforcement agencies have failed to keep pace with the problem. But less is understood about the issue underlying it all: What drives people to sexually abuse children?
Science in recent years has begun to provide some answers. One thing most pedophiles have in common: They discover, usually as teenagers, that their sexual preferences have not matured like everyone else’s. Most get stuck on the same-age boys or girls who first attracted them at the start of puberty, though some retain interest in far younger children.