Behind the scenes of IWF membership

Published:  Wed 9 Aug 2017

Ever wondered what it means to be part of the IWF membership community?

Based on what I’ve been hearing since I joined IWF in 2014, there are lots of questions and myths about IWF membership. Let’s have a look at them together to, hopefully, answer some of your questions.

What is IWF Membership?

The IWF is an independent, non-profit organisation and the work we do is funded by the European Commission and global internet industry. Today we have 132 companies in IWF membership. All of them joined us with the shared goal of making the internet a better place for all. We provide our Members with a range of tech tools that make their services and products safer to use, and stop the upload, hosting and sharing of child sexual abuse material online.

Doesn’t it take a very long time to join?

The process has developed since I joined in 2014.

We first need to confirm your reason for joining and which services you’ll be looking to take. At the same time, our team checks your company background and we might ask you for a couple of references. I promise you - most references take less than 3 minutes to complete. Our aim, as we continue to develop the process, is to take the work away from you.

After that, we confirm your membership fee (based on your size and sector) and send you our standard Membership Agreement for you to sign. Once you’ve signed and paid, you’re in. We then share logos, set you up as a user on our website and announce you as our newest IWF Member!

Isn’t it just a box ticking exercise?

No. The reality is that even if you’re a Member, we will still challenge you. If we see that you can do more to make the internet safer, to protect your customers from stumbling across criminal content or to stop child sex images online, then we’ll work with you on that. We see it as part of being a critical friend. And we encourage you to challenge us too.

What if I can’t use your tools? Is there a supporter membership?

Yes, there is! Many companies joining IWF membership don’t take any technical services from us. These are our Corporate Social Responsibility Members.

CSR Members help us raise awareness of our work with both their industry stakeholders and their own employees. The annual membership fee funds the salary of our expert analysts and therefore goes straight into actively fighting child sexual abuse material online.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our analysts, watch this short BBC 3 documentary.

What about your big Members – do you ever see them?

Yes, of course! As well as overseas visits with our international Members, we have many UK-based relationships. Being an internet friendly businesses, we can do a lot remotely too. The internet has no borders, and neither do we.

How much does IWF membership cost?

Our membership model is based on size and sector. This model was developed hand in hand with our members to be fair and consistent.

If you’d like to know the fees for your business, ask me or take a look at what similar companies already in IWF membership are paying.

Got a question?

If you’ve got a question I haven’t answered, then please ask me so I can keep my post updated.

If there’s a reason why you haven’t joined IWF yet, why not tell me what that is? We continually improve our processes and deliver new services, so it’s always worth checking in with us.

My question for you.

What are you doing to ensure that your business is not helping offenders to upload, share or view sexual images and videos of children?

Be part of the solution. Do the right thing and join IWF membership.

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