Staggering 400% rise in child sexual abuse images detected by Facebook as fears over encryption plans g… – The Sun

FACEBOOK has revealed a staggering 400% rise in child abuse images detected on its app.

In the last three months, Facebook picked up more than 25million of these sick illegal images.

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That's a five-fold rise from the previous quarter highlighting the huge scale of the problem.

It's likely linked to the fact that Facebook has rolled out more advanced scanning tech to unearth child sexual abuse content.

That means more illegal content isn't necessarily being posted but may simply being detected more thoroughly.

In any case, it's a clear sign that paedophiles are still trying to flood the site with horrific and abusive content.

Andy Burrows, Head of Child Safety Online Policy at the NSPCC said: "We welcome platforms investing in new technology to identify and remove child abuse content," Andy Burrows, head of child safety online at the NSPCC, told The Sun.

"But its very concerning that such a staggering amount of this material has been found in just three months.

"It shows just how much Facebook is used by offenders.

"Its unclear if this increase is partly due to Facebook fixing technical issues that over the previous six months cut in half how much child abuse content it took down, or more concerningly, if it has been sitting on the site for even longer.

"This report raises more questions than answers and underlines the urgent need for transparency to be underpinned by regulation that ensures platforms are making every effort possible to disrupt child sexual abuse.

"And with such an alarming amount of child abuse identified, Facebook must quickly ensure they have technology in place to be able to continue identifying abuse in end-to-end encrypted environments before they roll out the feature across their services."

It comes as Facebook faces increased scrutiny over ongoing plans to encrypt communications on the app.

Encryption is mainly a defence against hackers, scrambling messages in transit.

That means only senders and recipients of a text, photo or video can see it and no one else.

Facebook already uses encryption on WhatsApp, which means hackers but also law enforcement can't see what's being sent.

And the firm recently encrypted video calls on Facebook Messenger.

The company is working on encrypted texts on Messenger and Instagram DMs.

But child safety experts have repeatedly warned that encryption will make it harder to root out paedophiles on Facebook platforms.

"End-to-end encryption is already the leading security technology used by many services to keep people safe from hackers and criminals," a Facebook spokesperson said.

"Its full rollout on our messaging services is a long-term project and we are building strong safety measures into our plans.

"We have led the industry in developing new ways to prevent, detect and respond to abuse and will continue to do so."

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Staggering 400% rise in child sexual abuse images detected by Facebook as fears over encryption plans g... - The Sun

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