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IWF launches annual report

The Internet Watch Foundation assessed more than 50,000 reports to its hotline during 2013. Today it reveals the latest trends in assessing and removing child sexual abuse images from the internet.

The IWF, partners in the UK Safer Internet Centre, saw a 31% increase in reports processed in 2013 compared to 2012. It identified 13,182 webpages containing child sexual abuse imagery from 51,186 reports.

Of the 13,182 webpages:

  • Over half (51%) showed the rape or sexual torture of a child or children.
  • Over 80% were of victims aged 10 or under.
  • The vast majority of the victims were girls (76%). 10% were boys and 9% showed both genders.
  • 24% of the images and videos were being sold on a commercial basis.

Most of the images and videos were hosted in North America (54%) with 43% hosted in Europe (including Russia).

The UK still leads the world at removing this criminal imagery; less than 1% of all the child sexual abuse images and videos identified were hosted in the UK. However, due to a rise in the number of UK businesses’ websites hacked to host folders of child sexual abuse images, the number of UK- hosted images increased from 73 webpages in 2012 to 92 webpages in 2013.

Susie Hargreaves, IWF CEO said:

“Last year was a phenomenally busy year for our analysts assessing reports from the public. We have now more than doubled our analyst team thanks to a £1million Google grant and an increase in our funding by IWF Members.

“The IWF is a charity and we work with online companies to help them keep their services safer. We know that IWF Members are faster at removing child sexual abuse content from networks than non-members because they’re aware of their online safety responsibilities and they know that working in the online environment brings important responsibilities.

“I’m disappointed, however, that there are some UK hosting companies which are not members of IWF and which are not as fast at removing child sexual abuse imagery when we notify them that it’s on their networks. We’ll be working hard to bring these companies into the IWF family this year.”

For further information see the IWF Annual and Charity Report 2013.