Bitly acts to enhance user safety with new IWF partnership

Published:  Thu 14 Dec 2023

Bitly Inc., the world’s leading connections platform, has partnered with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to detect and block child sexual abuse material.

As a Member, Bitly can now use the IWF’s URL list, among other tech services, to remove and block shortened and customised URL webpage links that lead to images and videos of children being sexually abused. This will make it harder for perpetrators to hide this criminal content.

The IWF’s comprehensive URL list is dynamic and changes every day as webpage addresses with confirmed criminal material are added to the list and then removed once the content has been actioned by IWF analysts.

Internet safety is a key pillar for Bitly, given the breadth of its platform. Millions of links and QR codes are created by Bitly users every day, translating into billions of clicks per month. While abusive activity is much less than one percent of the company’s overall volume, Bitly is committed to investing in an anti-abuse system that mitigates the spread of harmful content.

“There has been a prolific rise in the misconduct of people utilising technology for questionable content. We believe that it is important to prioritise the safety and integrity of our Connections Platform for each of our users,” said Ben Kleiman, Director of Product, Bitly.

“Our new partnership with the IWF is an important step forward to enhance the capabilities of our proven and robust trust and safety features while also doing our part in prioritising human rights issues that have become prominent in the industry today.”

Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of IWF said: “The misuse of technology to create and distribute images and videos of children being harmed and sexually abused is on the increase.

“The IWF is making great strides to protect the global population from this content by creating key partnerships with the right technology providers to remove and block all child sexual abuse images from the internet.

“Our job is extraordinarily challenging and now with Bitly we are one step closer to creating a safer future for internet users.”

Bitly joins more than 190 technology companies that use the IWF’s services and continues to back the importance of the IWF’s global mission to hunt down any online record of child sexual abuse. To learn more about Bitly’s human rights commitments visit the company’s site here. Find out more about becoming an IWF Member here.

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