White Bullet collaborates with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to reduce child sexual exploitation online

Published:  Tue 13 Dec 2022

Cyber safety company’s technology platform to track advertising funding online child sexual exploitation

IWF and Cyber safety technology company, White Bullet, announce their collaboration to stop the monetisation of child sexual abuse images and videos through digital advertising.  

The IWF is the UK not-for-profit working internationally to identify and remove images and videos of child sexual abuse from the internet. Through an agreement with the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service and National Police Chiefs’ Council, IWF analysts are able to proactively search for this criminal imagery and uniquely placed to explore new ways to combat online offending content. The work of White Bullet with the IWF is part of a Home Office programme to understand the role of advertising funding online child sexual abuse content, and forms part of a wider IWF strategy to block, remove and demonetise such content.  

White Bullet is using its award-winning ad monitoring technology to capture and analyse the digital advertising on webpages containing or promoting content that relates to child sexual exploitation, and identify the brands and ad intermediaries engaging and funding these webpages. This expands the areas of online harm that White Bullet is tackling though its demonetisation programmes. 

Data acquired through this programme will be made available to the IWF to assess, with a view to implementing solutions to minimise ad misplacement against this harmful content. 

In this way, White Bullet’s partnership will enable the IWF to help eradicate the scourge of harmful online content and to enforce against those caught; to ensure a safer digital environment for all. 

Dan Sexton, Chief Technology Officer at the IWF, said: “Our collaboration with White Bullet is enabling us for the first time to understand the complex network of ad-misplacement alongside this criminal imagery on the internet. 

“We know, sadly, that child sexual abuse material is monetised and for some, is a form of profitable organised crime. Legitimate brands would be horrified to know their ads are helping to fund the sexual abuse and exploitation of children from the UK and around the world.  

“We’ve been able to use White Bullet’s comprehensive monitoring solution to track and understand how advertising may be funding websites distributing this content and also its software and user interfaces, which will allow our highly trained staff to run tracking themselves.” 

“We are delighted to support the IWF and the Home Office in their efforts to tackle online child sexual abuse content” adds Peter Szyszko, Founder and CEO, White Bullet. “Advertising drives the Internet but should never fund child sexual abuse content. Demonetising harmful online content is White Bullet’s mission and is a critical piece in strategic efforts to tackle online harm, protect consumers and safeguard brand reputation. Transparency around ad placement is therefore vitally important - no one should be making money from this abuse. Working with the IWF is a natural fit for White Bullet’s technology and the programme helps towards a safer online environment for all of us.” 

Minister for Safeguarding, Sarah Dines said: “Child sexual abuse and exploitation is an abhorrent crime and we must crack down on the criminals profiting from this abuse. We are proud to support this innovative work which will ultimately protect victims and survivors and disrupt criminal activity. 

“Our dedicated strategy to tackle child sexual abuse is backed by over £60 million per year to pursue offenders, support victims and survivors and safeguard children. Through the Online Safety Bill we are also obliging tech companies to remove illegal content to keep children safe online.” 

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