Sam Doerr, Public Affairs Manager, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit
Every day, hundreds of millions of photos are shared online – most showcasing people’s lives and loved ones – but hiding among these millions of photos are horrific images of children being sexually tortured and abused. Tragically, child pornography has grown at an alarming rate, even as the victims are getting younger and the abuse more brutal. Because images of abuse often circulate for years, Microsoft worked closely with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to develop a technology that could effectively and accurately find and remove the worst of the worst images of pre-pubescent sexual abuse known to NCMEC.
Today, as you may have read in the New York Times Gadgetwise blog, the Official Microsoft Blog or the Microsoft On the Issues Blog , Facebook announced that it is taking a major step in its ongoing fight to find, report, and remove online child exploitation from its network by becoming the first online service provider to join Microsoft in implementing NCMEC’s PhotoDNA program, adding this technology to their arsenal of tools to combat child exploitation on their network.
Because the distribution of child pornography is not limited to a single online service provider or platform, we hope that Facebook’s adoption of PhotoDNA will encourage other online service providers to consider joining NCMEC’s PhotoDNA program because it will take an industry united against child abuse and exploitation to effectively confront the problem. We can help make it harder for child pornographers to hide online because, while technology may have helped enable the growth of online child pornography, it can also be part of the solution.
We hope you’ll join Facebook, Microsoft, NCMEC and Dartmouth today on Facebook Live at 3 p.m. ET where you can take part in the discussion on these issues. To learn more about how you can be involved, www.microsoftphotodna.com and the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit’s Newsroom.