November 17, 2020

STATEMENT – Twitter, Facebook Must Fight Against Child Sexual Exploitation Material

NCOSE & 82 Other Child Protection Advocates Pen Letter to Senate Judiciary Ahead of Hearing with Twitter, Facebook CEOs

Washington, DC (November 17, 2020)
– Ahead of today’s hearing with the Twitter and Facebook CEOs, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) and 82 other child protection, anti-trafficking, and technology accountability advocates are calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to urge both companies to “actively eliminate and suppress the rampant presence of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on the Internet.”

Specifically, the groups state in a letter to the committee: “We ask you to use the hearing to call on CEOs Dorsey and Zuckerberg to: 1) publicly endorse the Earn It Act; 2) commit their companies to deleting CSAM everywhere it appears on their platforms while reporting all instances to NCMEC [National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]; and 3) create more responsive mechanisms for victims of CSAM and pornography to report illegal material so it can be removed.”

The National Center on Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) reported a 63.31% increase in reports to its CyberTipline January-September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. A New York Times investigation last fall noted that in 2008, over 600,000 images/videos of CSAM were reported to NCMEC, and it was called an epidemic at the time. Yet, in 2019, 70,000,000—70 million—CSAM images were reported.

“With the overwhelming increase in child sexual abuse material online, Twitter, Facebook, and other Big Tech companies must do more to protect children – and in fact, they can do that today, if they were willing,” said Patrick A. Trueman, president and CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“But at every turn, Big Tech companies fight against common-sense bipartisan solutions like the EARN IT Act that would make them accountable for CSAM on their platforms.

“We urge the Senate Judiciary today to call on the Twitter and Facebook CEOs to step up their fights against child sexual abuse material,” Trueman said.

The full letter can be found here.

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.

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