NEWS archive 2011

Internet Watch Foundation release 15th Annual Newsletter

October 26, 2011

Today (26 October) the Internet watch Foundation is marking its 15th anniversary newsletter which is reflecting on 15 years of tackling online child sexual abuse content.  It is also marking its 5th annual awareness day.

Below is an excerpt from the IWF press release:


Chief Executive's Welcome

Today (26 October) we are marking our 5th annual Awareness Day and also reflecting on 15 years of tackling online child sexual abuse content. 


Since we were launched on 1 December 1996, the IWF has assessed almost 370,000 webpages. For such a small team to complete this much is incredible and we are proud to have played our part nationally and internationally to remove images of child sexual abuse.


We could not have got here without the support of the online industry. By working together the volume of UK-hosted child sexual abuse content has reduced from 18% in 1997 to less than 1% since 2003 and we have kept it that way. Child sexual abuse webpages in the UK are rapidly removed thanks to the responsible actions of the online industry with whom we work.


Child sexual abuse content on the internet is a problem the IWF and the industry are eager to tackle wherever it is hosted. With the industry and partner Hotlines’ support we’ve been able to remove 87,000 webpages containing some of the worst content depicting the rape and sexual torture of young children and babies.
The continuing nature of this problem is clear. We have looked back over 15 years and found:
•45% of the worldwide webpages assessed and actioned for removal by the IWF featured children aged 10 years and under, including babies.
•For the past four complete years (2007 to 2010) this figure is 73.5%. This reflects the increasingly extreme nature of the content assessed and actioned by our analysts. 
•Since 1996, 40% of the global child sexual abuse content actioned by the our analysts involves the rape and sexual torture of children.

•For the past four complete years (2007 to 2010) this figure is 53.5%.


Preventing the revictimisation of those children and protecting the public from stumbling across this horrific content is our priority. Through working with the online industry, law enforcement agencies and our partners we’ve been able to grow and adapt in order to meet this challenge and we will continue to adapt to tackle this global problem.

Today the online industry, Government and our partners will reflect on the work of the IWF over its first 15 years with an event in Westminster. This event is the perfect opportunity to reflect on success and reiterate our goal of an internet free of child sexual abuse content.

But to call it a celebration would be wrong – why would we celebrate the necessity of an organisation like the IWF? 

It’s unfortunate that the IWF is so desperately needed but I am thankful that it is here.


Thank you for your support,


Susie Hargreaves.

For full press release click here

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