European Commission plans to force web companies to tackle child sexual abuse images


THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION has proposed new rules to require online service providers to detect, report and remove child sexual abuse images from their networks.

The plan foresees the creation of a European center for the fight against sexual abuse of children, based in The Hague and working with the Europol police agency.

“We are failing to protect children today,” warned EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson.

In 2021, 85 million videos and photos involving abused minors were reported, according to data from the US Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“And that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Johansson said.

Up to 95% of reports of illegal content involving child sexual abuse come from Facebook’s social network and messaging system, but the problem is not limited to one platform, according to the European Commission.

Currently, Internet Service Providers attempt to control the dissemination of pedophile content on a voluntary basis. But Brussels now wants them to be more proactive in hunting down harmful content rather than investigating complaints.

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The new rules will work alongside and in support of the EU’s Digital Services Act regulatory strategy, which will introduce steep fines for companies that fail to act on illegal content.

© AFP 2022


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