Facebook, Google, Twitter joining the fight against child porn

There is a new method to fighting the spreading of child abuse images online, and according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), this one is a “game changer”.

The nature of the method also sees the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter join in on the action.

So what is this new method? As The Independent explains in a report, IWF workers search for child abuse images online and allocate them an individual hash code, akin to a digital fingerprint.

Then, a Hash list is created, containing the codes to all the images found online. That list is then shared with internet companies that provide services such as the uploading, storage or search of images.

That way, companies can not only remove a large amount of these images quickly, but they can also prevent them from being uploaded online in the first place.

It will also protect people from accidentally stumbling across the images online.

Susie Hargreaves, chief executive of the IWF, said: "Our Hash List could be a game-changer and really steps up the fight against child sexual abuse images online.”

"This is something we have worked on with our members since the Prime Ministers' #WePROTECT summit last December. We'll soon be able to offer the hash list to all IWF members, who are based around the world.

"It means victims' images can be identified and removed more quickly, and we can prevent known child sexual abuse images from being uploaded to the internet in the first place."

However, experts have warned that creating the Hash list will not block images found on the dark net, a restricted access network that hides users’ identities.