Google, Facebook, and Twitter Have a New Strategy to Ban Images of Child Abuse


Tech companies including Facebook, Google, and Twitter have paired with a UK anti-abuse organization to step up the fight against the spread of child abuse imagery online.


The companies are tapping into a database created by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) that uses hashing technology to identify and block child sex abuse images. The system works by running an illicit photo through an algorithm that creates a unique digital fingerprint for it. The hash is then added to the database that can identify the image if it is uploaded by another user, allowing the companies to detect and remove it without viewing the image itself.

IWF previously joined forces with the UK government, which shared its own database of such images to create a larger source of hash numbers. Google and Microsoft have been using similar technology for years to prevent users from uploading and sending images of child abuse.

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