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.