Pioneering game developer joins IWF effort to fight child sexual abuse on the internet

Published:  Thu 14 Jul 2022

The software developer behind community-minded games like Pokémon Go and Ingress is joining the IWF community of Members whose aim it is to help eliminate child sexual abuse imagery on the internet.

Niantic, a world leader in augmented reality mobile games, will use cutting-edge IWF services to block, prevent and remove the spread of this type of criminal content on their products.

Services such as the IWF Hash List allows Niantic to quickly stop the upload of previously identified child sexual abuse material. This protects their users from being exposed to distressing content, while halting the continued sharing of these images.

Niantic will also have access to our URL List, Keywords Lists and Simultaneous Alerts.

A Niantic spokesperson said: “At Niantic, we want our community to feel safe to interact, adventure, and explore the world, online and offline. We are committed to creating positive experiences for everyone and protecting children from online exploitation. We appreciate IWF’s efforts and commitments in the fight against child sexual abuse, and are pleased to join forces on this front.”

Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the IWF, said: “Our partnerships with like-minded organisations are essential in the global fight to combat child sexual abuse material online.

“We welcome Niantic as a new member who will help to ensure we eradicate as much of this awful material as possible, as quickly as possible”

“In 2021, elite IWF analysts acted to remove a record-breaking 252,000 URLs confirmed to contain images or videos of children being raped and/or suffering sexual abuse. This equates to millions of images.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing a huge rise in the amount of criminal content shared online, which is why everyone needs to play their part in this global endeavour to keep children safe on the internet.”

Find out more about becoming a Member and the services the IWF can provide here https://www.iwf.org.uk/our-services.

Images and videos of online child sexual abuse can be reported anonymously at https://report.iwf.org.uk/en.

The public is given this advice when making a report:

  • Do report images and videos of child sexual abuse to the IWF to be removed. Reports to the IWF are anonymous.
  • Do provide the exact URL where child sexual abuse images are located.
  • Don’t report other harmful content – you can find details of other agencies to report to on the IWF’s website.
  • Do report to the police if you are concerned about a child’s welfare,
  • Do report only once for each web address – or URL. Repeat reporting of the same URL isn’t needed and wastes analysts’ time.
  • Do report non-photographic visual depictions of the sexual abuse of children, such as computer-generated images. Anything of this nature, which is also hosted in the UK, the IWF can get removed.

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