MOST VIEWERS OF CSAM FIRST WATCHED CONTENT AS MINORS
70% of those who have watched child sexual abuse material (CSAM) were first exposed to the material when they were under the age of 18, according to a new survey.
The survey, which was produced by Finnish campaign group Protect Children, also found that 52% of respondents said they feared viewing CSAM content would lead to sexual acts against a child, while 37% said they sought direct contact with children after viewing the content.
Over 5,000 people participated in the survey, which was launched on the dark web in order to reach users who were searching for CSAM material. 45% of survey respondents said they view CSAM related to girls aged 4-13, while 18% said they view CSAM related to boys of the same age group.
Respondents were encouraged to participate in the “Redirection Self-Help Program,” a scheme intended to rehabilitate those who tend to watch the content.
The findings underscore the ubiquity of child sexual abuse material, as well as the real dangers that its availability poses. “CSAM is a heinous and widespread form of criminality that affects all children everywhere in the world,” the report reads.
“All children, regardless of gender are at risk of being subjected to sexual violence, and we must ensure that our efforts to protect children are protecting all children.”
INSTAGRAM FOR KIDS PAUSED
Facebook’s plans for a dedicated ‘Instagram for Kids’ platform have been paused amid growing concern over the effects on the wellbeing of children using the platform.
As Gooseberry reported in September, a Wall Street Journal investigation unearthed internal research kept secret by Facebook showing that Instagram “makes body image issues worse for one in three teen girls” and that “teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” according to leaked documents.
In a blog post, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said that Instagram will use the pause to “work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns,” but said Instagram continues to “stand by” the project.
“We firmly believe that it’s better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them — where parents can supervise and control their experience,” Mosseri wrote.
The announcement comes amid a hearing of the U.S. Senate consumer protection subcommittee over Facebook’s policies for children, called in light of the WSJ revelations. US Senators grilled Facebook representatives over their treatment of child users and demanded Facebook publish their own internal research into the platform’s harmful effects on children.
“You’ve cherry-picked part of the research that you think helps your spin right now,” Republican Senator Ted Cruz said during the hearing. “IG stands for Instagram, but it also stands for Insta-greed,” Democrat Senator Edward Markey said.
A second hearing is scheduled for this week and includes testimony from a Facebook whistleblower.
FCA TO “DEAL WITH” SOCIAL MEDIA SCAMS
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) “need to deal with social media,” because of an “increase in online advertising of dodgy investments,” the regulator’s Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, Mark Steward, has said.
Speaking at the FCA’s annual public meeting, Steward said the FCA don’t regulate social media, but “we are putting them on notice that we expect them to be involved in this process of protecting the community.”
The comments come after changes to Google’s advertising rules in September, which prohibited firms from promoting financial services adverts on the search engine unless they could prove they are authorised by the FCA. The rule change was already having an impact on curtailing suspicious financial promotions, according to Steward.
“We also know that scammers will continue trying to feed social media with dodgy financial promotions and that that impact will be seen on other social media sites like Facebook,” Steward said.
“It’s really important that…all [social media firms] change their processes and procedures, otherwise we will have to take action.”
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