INHOPE | Webinar Recap: A deep dive into the INHOPE Annual Report 2022
Events & Campaigns

Webinar Recap: A deep dive into the INHOPE Annual Report 2022

INHOPE recently launched its 2022 Annual Report. Abby Roberts, Project Manager at INHOPE and Kalina Zografska INHOPE's Head of Technology and Innovation took attendees into a deep dive of the report and provided a high-level overview of our work and impact over the past year.

In 2022, our network consisted of 50 member hotlines (now 52, as of spring 2023) across 6 continents, all working tirelessly to advance our vision of a digital world free of CSAM. We support our analysts through training and capacity building to ensure high-level operation across our network. In the last year alone, 189 analysts were trained with INHOPE training tools and during a total of 11 peer-to-peer exchanges hotlines had the opportunity to share expertise and learn from each other. To enhance our capabilities in supporting over 200 hotline analysts the INHOPE secretariat welcomed 7 new employees to the team, each fulfilling a vital role in advancing our mission.

INHOPE’s strategic direction

Abby outlined our strategic direction for 2022 until 2024, which is focused on achieving our vision of a digital world free of CSAM. "INHOPE’s growth depends on the dedication and collaboration of the stakeholders in our network, as well as the technology we use to facilitate the rapid and secure removal of harmful content," Abby emphasised. She outlined the five organisational pillars, essential to the application of our strategic plan:

  1. Network expansion: Everyone around the world must have a mechanism in place to report CSAM.
  2. Strategic communication: Increase the recognition and profile of INHOPE and its member hotlines.
  3. Capacity building: Improve the skills and capabilities of the INHOPE network, which will result in faster removal of CSAM from the digital environment
  4. Sustainability: Ensure the long-term sustainability of INHOPE and our network of hotlines.
  5. Organisational excellence: Strengthen and improve INHOPE’s internal governance based on the needs of member hotlines.

"Our multi-stakeholder approach is vital to the INHOPE strategy,” Abby explained and stressed the importance of funding and project partners in supporting the implementation of INHOPE's strategy. Over the years we have built many partnerships with NGOs, LEAs, tech companies and the government. “INHOPE partners support the general sustenance of all of the aspects of the network that helps to enhance the everyday work and capacity of the 200 analysts operating within our network." Visit our partner page, or download the Annual Report. for a full overview of our partners.

The Reporting Journey

Reports are essential in enabling our hotlines to remove harmful material from the internet. This is why a core part of our work is focused on providing everyone around the world with the necessary mechanisms and awareness to report CSAM. But what happens after a report is made? Kalina took attendees through the journey of a report.

When the report is identified to contain illegal material the hotline analyst will immediately contact local law enforcement as well as hosting and service providers to get the content removed as rapidly as possible. However, in most cases, reports received by hotlines in one country, are actually hosted in an entirely different location. In these cases, after the material is processed and identified as illegal it is securely exchanged through our platform ICCAM with a hotline that is located in the country where the material is hosted. The hotline receiving the report then follows the same procedure of notifying law enforcement for further investigations and hosting and service providers for removal.

“We have found that content exchanged through this journey was found in 83 hosting countries, and processed in 50 reporting countries," Kalina shared. The discrepancy in these numbers highlights the importance of our network expansion efforts. Our goal is to expand our network to countries that have high hosting numbers, but no established reporting structure.

Where is the Material Hosted?

  • Illegal material continues to be located primarily on image hosts, websites and forums.
  • Within the past year, hotlines have identified a new hosting location: Invite Child Abuse Pyramid Schemes (ICAP), which operate through an invitation link system. Users are encouraged to invite new users through their personal links. By doing so they earn virtual coins, which are then used to purchase CSAM.
  • ICAP sites will be added as a hosting location in ICCAM, so we can include more specific data about these sites next year in our Annual Report 2023.

Insights from 2022

Kalina went on to share top-level insights from the 2022 Annual Report data. The total volume of exchanged reports has decreased by around 40% when compared to the previous year. While we cannot definitely determine the reason for this decrease, hotlines' data can offer a glimpse into why this might be the case. Some hotlines, for instance, Kalina explained, report to have previously received high numbers of weekly reports from one reporter, who stopped doing this in 2022. Other hotlines suspect that lifted COVID restrictions and the consequential overall decrease in internet use might play a role in explaining this number decrease.

In the end, Kalina shared, we cannot pinpoint the exact reason for this decline in reports, but this only highlights how important context is in interpreting numerical data. "If you download the Annual Report, we urge you to use it in its full form," Kalina said, "the narrative text and context of the report are just as important as the data."

The Value of Hotline Analysts

“The role of hotlines is diverse in nature, however, every activity is linked to either people or technology.” Kalina ended her presentation by acknowledging and celebrating the immense dedication of the analysts working on our member hotlines. "Over half a million of exchanged reports were addressed by a little over 200 analysts, within the past year. Roughly, each professional that is part of the network has been responsible for around 2000 reports being processed."* INHOPE is immensely proud to support this amazing, groundbreaking work. And we are looking forward to continuing to ensure the best possible resources, technological support and training for our network of hotlines.

This recap provides only a brief overview of our Annual Report. To get a deeper insight and understanding of the work that has been done in the year 2022, access the full report here.

This webinar was recorded and is available online. Visit our Webinar Playlist.

Webinar Recap: A deep dive into the INHOPE Annual Report 2022

This recap provides only a brief overview of our Annual Report. To get a deeper insight and understanding of the work that has been done in the year 2022, access the full report here.