Isn’t this just the most surprising finding ever?
Facebook’s apps were used in more than half of online child sex crimes from October 2019 to October 2020, new NSPCC data reveals.
Police recorded more than 9,477 instances where social media or other communication platforms were used in offences involving child sex abuse imagery or online child sex offences.
Of these, 52 pr cent were on Facebook-owned apps with Instagram accounting for the biggest proportion, and 50 per cent more than in the previous year.
The crime is “online sex crimes” and the claim is that they’re happening online.
Which does knock down with a feather, doesn’t it?
That the majority of them are with Facebook owned online properties is simply a reflection of Facebook’s majority share of online activity. Shocked we are.
Of course some take this trivia as being a call to something:
The disclosure prompted fresh demands for Facebook to rethink plans to introduce end-to-end encryption of its platforms which NSPCC warned would prevent law enforcement agencies investigating child sex abuse online.
Andy Burrows, NSPCC head of child safety online policy, said: “Facebook is willingly turning back the clock on children’s safety by pushing ahead with end-to-end encryption, despite repeated warnings that its apps will facilitate more serious abuse more often.
“This underlines exactly why Oliver Dowden must introduce a truly landmark Online Safety Bill that makes sure child protection is no longer a choice for tech firms and resets industry standards in favour of children.
“If legislation is going to deliver meaningful change it needs to be strengthened to decisively tackle abuse in private messaging, one of the biggest threats to children online.”
The NSPCC said end-to-end encryption should only be rolled out if and when platforms could demonstrate it would not compromise children’s safety.
The correct reaction to which is a volley of crude Anglo Saxonisms. For we do not require permission in order to talk to each other as we wish. That we use Cockney, Polari or Polish to converse is our choice – so is encryption. For this is what it means to be free. We choose, not have things imposed upon us.
Will encryption raise the amount of bad things done by bad people? Somewhere between why not and probably. There always is that cost to freedom after all.