Home secretary calls out social media giants to do more to stop child abuse

The home secretary wants social media companies to do more to tackle child sexual exploitation

Home secretary Amber Rudd has claimed social media companies have a “moral duty” to tackle child sexual exploitation.

Ahead of plans to visit counterparts in the US government in Washington this week, Rudd wrote in the Sun on Sunday tech giants need to go “further and faster” to tackle abuse and keep young users safe.

According to Rudd social media platforms and online technology have made “vile child sexual abuse content vastly easier to find”.

“It is with absolute urgency that I call on all internet companies to go further and go faster in tackling online child sexual abuse,” she wrote.

“We need you to bring your resources and your technical expertise to help us turn the tide on this horrendous scourge. It is your moral duty.”

New government figures have shown between 2013 and 2017 there was a 700% increase in the number of indecent images identified on technology company servers and flagged to law enforcement. Each month more than 400 arrests are made for indecent images of children in the UK with 500 children being protected from online sexual exploitation.

During Rudd’s visit to the US she is expected to attend a roundtable event along with representatives from Google, Facebook and Microsoft. The home secretary will also raise concerns over message apps and websites in addition to video and image apps - such as Snapchat - during her trip.

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Gillian West

Gillian West is The Drum’s social media manager and works to ensure The Drum’s content reaches followers across platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram in an engaging, relevant and timely manner. Based in Glasgow, she has been actively involved in building The Drum’s Creative Works brand for over three years now and has interviewed major creative figures including Rankin, Peter Souter, Rosie Arnold, Bob Greenberg and Vicki Maguire. During her time at The Drum she has attended events such as Cannes Lions, the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Art Director’s Club Europe, D&AD and more.

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