At FactorDaily, we strive to bring attention to how technology impacts society, whether for good or bad. The easy and extensive availability of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) in the online space is one that we want to throw a spotlight on.
Online CSAM is a massive problem that our world is staring at today. The NCMEC CyberTipline received 16.9 million reports, which included 69.1 million CSAM, from various Electronic Service Providers from across the globe. Close to 2 million of these reports are from India, making us the biggest contributor and consumer of online CSAM.
CSAM is available everywhere— online chat rooms, video games, and, most dangerously, on ubiquitous OTT platforms that children are exposed to on a daily basis. This implies that over 53 crore children —the Indian population below 18— are at risk of sexual abuse online.
We are in a desperate need to develop a good understanding and find a solution.
India has 500 million smartphones in use and is expected to have 639 million active internet users by the end of 2020. The number and popularity of OTT platforms in India is increasing every year. Yet, we lack the awareness of safe digital behaviour.
Most people in India have low awareness about CSAM—they hardly know that creating, distributing or even watching it is illegal. Also, we don’t yet follow the best practices in detecting and removing such content, and have a poor record in convicting the criminals. India isn’t a member of WePROTECT, a global alliance to end child sexual exploitation online.
We need to recognise and emphasise that there is no victimless crime when it comes to CSAM. If you’re creating or sharing CSAM, you’re harming a child. If you’re watching CSAM, you’re victimising a child. And this makes you a criminal.
Project CSAM aims to wake you up to this grim reality, prepare you to deal with it, and compel you to find or create some solutions. We are also looking to fix accountability. By the end of the first year, you can expect a comprehensive repository of reportage, resources, and solutions.
We are all vulnerable. And that’s why we care. Do you?
Tell us what you think we’re missing out in our coverage at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you come across any CSAM online, report it here; you may do it anonymously.
You can also report it here:
– National Cybercrime Reporting Portal
– POCSO ebox of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
– Call (011) 26238466/ 26224042, 26227647: Recovering and Healing from Incest (RAHI), a support centre for women survivors of child sexual abuse
– Call 1098: Child Line— a free, 24-hour helpline for children in need of care and protection.