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Google, Facebook and Microsoft Form Coalition To Protect Kids From Online Sexual Abuse

But can they actually eradicate it?

The Technology Coalition, comprised of major companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, a group that has been in existence since 2006 with the aim of preventing sexual exploitation and abuse of children on the internet. The organization is also partnered with various children’s wellbeing nonprofits like Unicef and has long worked to provide funding and educate tech platforms on child safety tools.

But the internet has changed mightily since 2006 — and it’s why the aforementioned companies, plus Twitter, have backed a five-fold plan called Project Protect to stop child sexual abuse and exploitative content on the internet in light of a new and changing internet with emerging new technologies that can cause a whole host of harm to the world’s children. In a statement the organization released on Thursday, the organization stated, “Technology is more advanced… The number of people online, more than 4.5 billion in 2020, has added to the challenges of keeping the internet a safe place.” 

The five-fold plan calls to: invest in innovative tech to tackle child sexual abuse material on the internet, hold an annual forum with government, law enforcement, and other stakeholders, fund independent research into child sexual exploitation and preventative measures, and share insights on the reporting of child sexual abuse and help create a benchmark process for companies to share their progress on fighting child sexual abuse with others in the coalition. 

The companies have long had a problem with child sexual abuse content proliferating on the internet, and it’s almost shocking that the coalition has existed for so long, considering the wide-scale and long-held problems with exploitation on the web. Hopefully, however, these new efforts will help curb exploitation — of which some experts have suggested there will be more of during a pandemic that forces people to stay at home — and help eradicate it for good.