The US Saw a Spike in Child Sexual Abuse URLs in 2021

Published:  Mon 25 Apr 2022

CSAM hosting around the world rose 64 percent last year, and a surge in the United States put it second behind the Netherlands, a new report found.

Every year the number of photos and videos containing child sexual abuse found online increases—and 2021 was no exception. Investigators discovered record amounts of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) last year, new figures reveal.

Data from UK child safety nonprofit the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) shows 252,194 URLs containing child sexual abuse imagery in the last 12 months. That’s up 64 percent from 2020. As well as record overall numbers, the charity found a significant uptick in the amount of CSAM hosted in the United States. Chris Hughes, the director of the IWF’s hotline, says the organization responds to reports of CSAM online and also proactively uses technology to hunt down abusive content. Most of the photos the IWF finds are on image-hosting websites, where people can upload content to share.

Since 2016, the Netherlands has hosted more abuse material than any other country the IWF has analyzed. (It is home to one of the world’s largest internet exchanges). Last year, the Netherlands had 102,676 confirmed reports of CSAM, 41 percent of everything the IWF found. This is a drop from 2020’s figures, but it coincided with a spike in US-linked reports.

Read more at wired.co.uk

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