March 21, 2019

Facebook Sanitizes Platform, Removes 8.7 Million Images of Child Nudity

Facebook Sanitizes Platform, Removes 8.7 Million Images of Child Nudity


Facebook has removed 8.7 million images of child nudity in the last three months.

The clean was done by moderators in response to calls for the behemoth social media platform to sanitize its space from distasteful content bordering on racism, extremism and criminal behavior that fall within the lines of inappropriate content.

Facebook said it developed new software to automatically flag possible sexualized image of children.

The software has been in operation since last year but only became public this year.

Facebook also said it has another program that flags instances of child grooming that is related to sexual exploitation.

Of the 8.7 million images removed, only 1 percent was reported by any Facebook user before being removed, according to Facebook.

In recent times Facebook has come under censure for not better controlling the content on its site.

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Damian Collins, chairman of the Commons media committee, reprimanded Facebook over the prevalence of child sexual abuse material on the platform.

An investigation also found pedophiles were sharing obscene images of children via secret facebook groups

Antigone Davis, Facebook global head of safety have said Facebook is considering rolling out systems for spotting child nudity and grooming to Instagram as well

Child sexual abuse imagery also has a dedicated system that flags it and reports to authorities.

‘Recently, our engineers have been focused on classifiers to actually prevent unknown images, new images,’ Ms. Davis said in an online video about the technology.


Such newly discovered material is reported by Facebook to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).


Facebook-owned apps being ‘used by groomers to target children’

‘What Facebook hasn’t told us is how many potentially inappropriate accounts it knows about, or how it’s identifying which accounts could be responsible for grooming and abusing children’ said Tony Stower, head of child safety online for the NSPCC.


‘And let’s be clear, police have told us that Facebook-owned apps are being used by groomers to target children.’


Mr. Stower has called for mandatory transparency reports from social networks which would detail the ‘full extent’ of harms faced by children on their websites.


He stressed the need for regulation to ensure effective grooming prevention online.

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