Model of good practice for adult sector to be developed by IWF and MindGeek

Published:  Tue 21 Feb 2023

A "pioneering" new partnership between the Internet Watch Foundation and MindGeek will offer a blueprint for how the adult industry can help in the fight against child sexual abuse material online. 

MindGeek, a technology company, operates several brands which offer legal, adult-themed content to a global audience.

It extends the relationship between IWF and MindGeek following the successful launch of a Chatbot in March 2022 – together with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation – which MindGeek volunteered to pilot on the Pornhub UK platform.

The Chatbot project is being academically evaluated as part of developing new effective ways to deter people from searching for child sexual abuse material.

The latest partnership – which is a two year pilot project – is being overseen by an external advisory board of experts to be chaired by Sir Richard Tilt. Members of the advisory board include people from academia, law enforcement and civil society.

Over the two years, which began from November 2022, MindGeek will supplement its existing trust and safety program by taking and deploying all relevant IWF services across its platforms including the URL List, Hash List, Non-photographic Imagery List and Keywords List.

MindGeek has already implemented industry leading trust & safety measures to keep their platforms and users safe and prevent the upload of illegal material.

Such measures include mandatory identification for content creators, hash-list scanning, AI tools, human moderation, deterrence messaging, a trusted flagger program, and extensive user reporting options.

MindGeek strives to set the gold standard in online safety for user generated content platforms.

The partnership aims to:

  • Develop a model of good practice to guide the adult industry in combatting child sexual abuse imagery online;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of IWF services when deployed across MindGeek’s brands;
  • Combine technical and engineering expertise to scope and develop solutions which will assist with the detection, disruption, and removal of child sexual abuse material online.

Key recommendations from the project will be shared publicly to support others’ work in this area.

Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the IWF, said: “This partnership is pioneering. We have brought together one of the world's biggest technology companies specialising in adult content, with a group of experts to create a model of best practice for tackling child sexual abuse material in the adult sector.

“Child sexual abuse material on the internet is a global problem and it can affect all manner of online companies, large and small. We must not shy away from working with companies which specialise in adult content; we must work with them to ensure that children who have been sexually abused and exploited are protected.

"It’s through key partnerships like this that we can create a blueprint for best practice and ensure that IWF can provide good quality datasets and solutions to the widest possible range of companies in order to prevent the distribution of sexual images and videos of children.

"MindGeek has stepped up to take a leadership role in their sector. They are also sending a very clear message that there must be nowhere safe online for abusers to share or find criminal imagery.” 

David Cooke, Director of Partnerships, Trust & Safety at MindGeek, said: “The safety and security of those using our platforms is our top priority, and we are committed to remaining at the forefront of internet safety. That is why we have implemented trust and safety measures that surpass those of any major platform, not just those in the adult space.

“Our partnership with the IWF is designed, amongst other initiatives, to create a blueprint so that other platforms can follow our lead and combat illegal material on the internet.

“We are honoured to again partner with an industry leader like the IWF, overseen by experts in standards that protect users, support victims, and prevent illegal material online. We look forward to our continued work together in making the internet a safer place.”

Sir Richard Tilt, Chair of the Advisory Board, said: “In the fight against the scourge of online child sexual abuse imagery, it is important to bring together skilled individuals and committed organisations who can really make an impact for good.

“Bringing these experts together to oversee this partnership will ensure we reach the best outcomes and show others in the field what is possible. Collaboration is key, and we have an opportunity to shift the parameters in the fight against online child sexual abuse.”

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