Reflections on the IWF’s 15-Year Fight Against Online Child Sexual Abuse Content
October 26, 2011, marked the Internet Watch Foundation’s annual Awareness Day, which served to raise awareness online and with the media about the IWF’s internet Hotline and its mission to minimize the availability of criminal online content, primarily child sexual abuse content, in partnership with various Internet industry organizations and law enforcement agencies. In its 15 years of existence, the IWF cites they have removed an overwhelming 87,000 web pages that have consisted of child sexual abuse content.
The UK-based IWF’s impact in reducing UK-hosted child sexual abuse content from 18% in 1997 to less than 1% in 2003, and keeping it at this rate ever since, has been astonishing. This collaborative achievement deserves the utmost of praise, even though the fight against such criminal content hosted worldwide appears to be growing in complexity.
According to the IWF, 45% of the worldwide web pages triggered for removal featured children under 10-years of age, including babies. This trend rose to an alarming 73.5% from 2007 to 2010. Similarly shocking has been the rise in websites that featured incidents of rape and sexual torture of children over the same time frame, implying how severe the situation is on a global scale.
These statistics are hard to swallow. As such, zvelo is committed to supporting the efforts of the IWF and to continue incorporating the IWF’s database of websites (see the official press release). The zveloDB® URL database utilizes a dedicated “Child Abuse Images” category, under which child sexual abuse content is categorized and identified for blocking. The instant identification of these inappropriate URLs by zvelo’s website categorization technologies is paramount so that zvelo’s OEM Partners can continue offering cutting-edge policy management, web filtering, endpoint security and parental controls solutions to help protect their end-users.
Read the full, 15-year anniversary IWF Press Release.