Consumer habits influenced by online companies’ morals

Published:  Mon 3 Nov 2014

British adults would consider boycotting online brands which do not do enough to keep their services free of child sexual abuse images and videos.

A ComRes poll for the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) shows that 72% of British adults say that they would consider boycotting the online services, platforms or technology of a company if they found they were not working with the relevant authorities or organisations to ensure that any criminal child sexual abuse content is identified and removed as quickly and as accurately as possible.

Nine in 10 (92%) say companies should do what they can to ensure that their technology or online services or platforms are protected from being misused by those promoting criminal child sexual abuse content to its users.

The IWF is the UK Hotline for anyone to report child sexual abuse images and videos anonymously and confidentially.

The IWF is funded by 120 Members of the online industry. Google, one of IWF’s Members, donated £1million in 2013 which doubled the analyst team. IWF Members also increased their funding since April 1, taking the number of analysts to 12 people, providing first-class facilities, and boosting the UK’s effort on the global stage.

Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, will tomorrow (5 November) formally open the IWF’s new facilities in Cambridge.

Susie Hargreaves, IWF CEO, said: “It’s clear that British people want online companies to do all they can to keep their services safe.

“The UK leads this work through the IWF and our Members. Since 2003 less than 1% of child sexual abuse imagery is hosted in the UK, compared to 18% in 1996.

“Some companies instantly recognise their responsibilities online. But I also know of companies – in the UK and elsewhere – which bury their heads. We’ll be doing all we can to help them do the right thing and work to eliminate online child sexual abuse. There is no excuse.”

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “This research shows the British public will not stand for a company failing to do their part in tackling child sexual abuse material online.

“The importance of the work the IWF does cannot be underestimated.  Their success in driving child sexual abuse material away from being hosted in the UK is testament to the dedication and hardwork of the IWF and the broader internet industry.”

 

Ends


Notes to editors:

Contact: Emma Hardy, IWF Director of External Relations +44 (0) 1223 203030, +44 (0) 7929 553679 or

ComRes interviewed 2,025 GB adults online between the 3rd and 4th September 2014. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

The full ComRes data can be found here: http://www.comres.co.uk
Data

*     The British public perceive companies ought to do what they can, and have a moral duty towards removing criminal child sexual abuse content from their online services or platforms.

o   Nine in ten (92%) British adults say that companies should do what they can to ensure that their technology or online services/platforms are protected from being misused by promoting criminal child sexual abuse content to their users.

o   Nine in ten (90%) British adults agree that companies providing technology or online services/platforms have a moral duty to work in partnership with the relevant authorities/organisations who can identify and remove criminal child sexual abuse content from their website.

*     The findings indicate that whether or not a company with an online presence works to remove child sexual abuse content is likely to affect its consumer purchasing habits.  

o   Almost eight in ten (78%) members of the public agree that they would be more likely to buy products and services from an internet or technology company that works with the relevant authorities/organisations to identify and remove criminal child sexual abuse content from its services/platforms, than ones which do not.

o   72% of people agree with the statement “I would consider boycotting the online services/platforms or technology of a company if I found out that they were not working with the relevant authorities/organisations to ensure that any criminal child sexual abuse content is identified and removed as quickly and as accurately as possible”.
About the Internet Watch Foundation

The IWF is the Hotline to report:

·        child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world;

·        criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK;

·        non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK.

For more information please visit www.iwf.org.uk.

The IWF is part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, working with Childnet International and the South West Grid for Learning to promote the safe and responsible use of technology.

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