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  • Meerelle Cruz

Meta Has Launched A New Campaign To Combat Internet Child Exploitation

"Report it. Don’t share it." is a new initiative launched by the UAE's Digital WellBeing Council, the Ministry of Interior's Child Protection Center, and Meta to combat online child abuse. The campaign's goal is to raise awareness about the dangers of sharing photographs or videos of child sexual abuse online, as well as how to report such information.

The campaign, which was launched on November 20 in honor of World Children's Day, is based on research conducted earlier this year by Meta and experts on child exploitation, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Prof. Ethel Quayle, a clinical psychologist who works with sex offenders and their victims.

"We are developing effective solutions to disrupt the spreading of child exploitation content based on research," said David Miles, Meta's head of safety policy, EMEA.

Meta stated in a statement that much of the research into why people engage with child sexual abuse materials have incorporated psychological assessments. The study "looks at behavioral indications from a fixed moment in time and a snapshot of consumers' lives on Meta's platforms," according to the company.

Researchers looked at 150 accounts that Meta reported to NCMEC for uploading child exploitation content between July and August 2020 and January 2021, and discovered that more than 75% did not have malicious content. Instead, it appeared that these accounts were shared for other reasons, such as outrage or bad comedy.

Meta claims to submit each case of child exploitation content to NCMEC, including content it has found and removed before it is seen by anybody. The bulk of the reports Meta supplied to NCMEC contained the same or visually similar information, according to the study. Approximately 90% of the photographs or videos of child sexual abuse analyzed in the study were determined to be duplicates rather than original or new content. Furthermore, the organization reported that just six pieces of aesthetically identifiable media were responsible for more than half of all child exploitation content.

Based on this information, the business collaborated with child safety partners to create a campaign to assist reduce instances of inappropriate content being shared on its platforms. While the number of pieces of content does not equal the number of victims, one victim is too many. Preventing and eliminating online child sexual exploitation and abuse requires a multi-industry strategy, and Meta is dedicated to protecting children both on and off our products.

If someone believes a child is in danger, they are recommended to call the Ministry of Interior's Child Protection Centre Helpline at 116111. If someone finds an image or video of a kid being harmed on Facebook or Instagram, they are asked to report it to Meta and police enforcement. Additionally, the advertisement urges individuals against sharing, downloading, or commenting on any such content, since such actions may result in criminal consequences.

"Regardless of the motivation, releasing photographs or videos of child sexual abuse on the internet has a catastrophic effect on the child featured in the content." "We're working with Meta to gain a better understanding of how we can effectively disrupt sharing and prevent re-victimization of children, as well as educating people on what they can do to report this crime," said Abdul Rahman al-Tamimi, director of the UAE Ministry of Interior's Child Protection Center.

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