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‘Facebook bigger hotbed of child pornography than Pornhub’

New data from the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) shows that by 2020, no fewer than 20.3 million complaints about child pornography were reported on Facebook. MindGeek, the company behind Pornhub, RedTube and YouPorn, received “barely” just over 13,000 of those complaints in total.

95 percent of all complaints about child pornography come from one website. And while you might think that’s a porn site, it’s a website that many use every day: Facebook.

Facebook

Last year, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received 21.7 million complaints through CyberTipline about “child sexual abuse material” or child pornography. The vast majority (20.3 million) of those complaints were about Facebook. The social networking site itself already responded to that high number, indicating that “90 percent of complaints are the same or very similar to other already reported content”. But even if it does, Facebook remains in the top spot.

Number two, Google, follows with just over half a million complaints. The rest of the websites again follow at a great distance. In addition, it is striking that porn sites are dangling at the very bottom. In 2020, for example, there were more complaints about child pornography on Snapchat (144,095), Twitter (65,062) and TikTok (22,692). MindGeek, the company behind several porn sites including Pornhub, RedTube and YouPorn, received a total of 13,229 complaints about child pornography. A lot less than Facebook and the other social network sites. MindGeek also claims that in many cases it concerns duplicated content and that it actually concerns 4,171 incidents.

Measures

The high number of Facebook can also be explained by the fact that the website has a lot more visitors than the MindGeek websites. As a result, more infringements can also be established.

Still, Facebook wants to do something to tackle the spread of child pornography. It will do that with a number of new measures. For example, there will be informative pop-ups for related search terms, accounts that distribute child pornography will be removed more quickly and you will also be able to indicate whether a child is involved in the facts when reporting content of “nude images or sexual content”.

MindGeek also stated in a statement to The Daily Beast that “protecting the internet from child pornography is one of their most important tasks”. To this end, MindGeek will work more closely with NCMEC in the future.

More child pornography than ever

The data from NCMEC also shows that there is an increase in the number of reports about the exploitation of children. In 2020, that figure was no less than 28 percent higher than in 2019. Most of those complaints still come from companies, but the number of complaints by private individuals has more than doubled in the past year.

NCMEC also emphasizes that the child abuse figures are hugely misleading, as most of the abuses never come to light.

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