Police Complain The Big Tech Is Too Efficient At Discovering And Reporting Child Abuse Online


You’ll recall how not long ago, mere femtoseconds in fact, the complaint was that Big Tech – the Facebook, Google, Twitters, who the hell knows maybe LinkedIn – nexus wasn’t doing enough to stop child abuse images circulating online. Something must be done, we should nationalise, or control, or force them, or summat. This must not stand!

So, something does happen, more of the child abuse that does circulate online is checked upon, found, filtered, and reported. For, you know, mere possession of a child abuse image is a serious crime these days. And near always, given the manner in which seeing one is the creation of a new version in a browser, a copy of the one on the hard drive or server, possession of an image is classified as the production, creation, of such an image and is a really, really, serious crime.

So, given civic duty and responsibility, such crimes are being reported to the police. At which point the police are complaining:

Online child sex abuse images have increased ten-fold as police demand social media giants do “far more” to block them from their sites in the first place. Senior officers say the explosion in online sex abuse is overwhelming investigators who are “struggling to cope” and distracting them from concentrating resources on identifying and catching “high harm” offenders who are actually sexually assaulting children. Referrals of online child sex abuse images to police by the tech industry have risen 997 per cent in from 11,477 in 2013 to 113,948 last year, according to data yesterday from the National Crime Agency (NCA). Each referral can include dozens of images.

Isn’t that great? Big Tech is doing exactly what it was insisted Big Tech did about child abuse images. Therefore the police are complaining.

Note again what is being complained about. Not that there are more such images online. Rather, that more of them are being found and reported for prosecution.

So, what’s this really about? Actually, it’s the head of some part of the police deciding that she’d like more of our money to play with:

Number of British paedophiles may be far higher than thought
National Crime Agency chief says new figure is seven times greater than earlier estimate
She is calling for £2.7bn over three years to boost the fight against serious and organised crime.

I’ve a bureaucracy to feed, gimme more money! The cry of the civil servant down the ages.

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Rhoda Klapp
Rhoda Klapp

Again, they are mentally ill. The paedos, not necessarily the cops. And looking at or possessing a picture* should not be a crime in itself. Somebody needs to check whether the looking satiates the desires or makes it more likely to act out. There are seemingly hundreds of thousands of paedos, how many physical crimes are there?

* The picture involved can be one where there is no physical victim. It may be drawn or computer-generated, equally illegal under the law.

Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan

Prodnoses are interested in imposing their views not actually doing anything to resolve the problems.

Therefore images of naked kiddies is bad in every case – informed debate on how to manage the desires of the paedo using (say) computer generated images is not to be even considered.


Referrals of online child sex abuse images to police by the tech industry have risen 997 per cent in from 11,477 in 2013 to 113,948 last year

This kind of sloppy (erroneous, actually) math is all too common. If something goes from 100 to 120, it has risen 20%, not 120%. One can correctly say, “Today’s value is 120% of yesterday’s”, but to RISE 120%, it must go from 100 to 220.

/OT rant

Excellent column.