A Child-Safe Internet Made Impossible By The Giants

Pius Serugo

Pius Serugo

, Nile Tech

Interconnected technology is now an unavoidable reality. It’s gradually turning into a need, the ‘in thing’ for modern families to have it. However, who is this ‘Rise of the machines’ and ‘internet of things’ good for?

Ever taken time to figure out what your child is exposed to every time they visit the internet of things? There are lots of dangers in that, but, the biggest concern is the reported growth in the number of reported online child abuse cases.

Getting your child to learn how to use the machines and internet comes with lots of advantages and advances. However, not all that is rosy; take it or leave it, it is no longer safe for your child to be on the ‘internet of things’.

Amongst the biggest dangers; ‘adult pornography’, ‘exposure to dangerous people’, ‘Anti-social behavior’ and ‘cyber bullying’ have increased a lot in recent times. The dangers are associated with adverse effects which are usually the start to unending problems children sometimes carry through to adulthood.

While adults may be blamed for irresponsibility, it has become hard for parents to protect their children from these dangers, considering the busy schedules and fast-paced tech industry. Using parental control software and monitoring children’s online activities at would be good ideas to try and control what our children are exposed to.

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But why is the hope for a child-safe internet fading so fast?

Before, your child is exposed to anything on the internet, service providers and enablers are the biggest the other perpetrators we should not leave out.

In an exclusive interview by ITV News, on Monday, January 22, 2018, British chief in charge of child protection, Simon Bailey, accused ‘Internet giants’ of failing to take steps to stop their platforms being used for child abuse.

For starters, internet giants are made up of the big data platforms such as Facebook, Amazon, twitter among a host of others.

Baily warns that the threat from sex offenders on online platforms – specifically citing live streaming apps and chatrooms – was growing at a “phenomenal pace”, leaving children at “really significant” risk.

Baily’s condemnation comes amidst an overwhelming rise in the number of reported online child abuse in his native Britain.

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He says; “These companies are making sums of money which are huge, but the fact is that children are being abused and not enough is being done to make chatrooms safe places for our children to go and not enough is being done to take down indecent imagery which is out there.”

While the giants’ response reminds us of their commitment to zero tolerance for child exploitation, it remains unsatisfactory to Baily.

ITV news filed the following responses from some of the ‘Internet giants’

Facebook and Instagram

We have zero tolerance for child exploitation on Facebook and Instagram.

We proactively search for and take down this kind of content and immediately alert the police to potential offenders and young people at risk.

We’ve spent the past decade working with safety experts including the Internet Watch Foundation, Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command and the UK Safer Internet Centre to develop powerful tools to combat this kind of activity and we have a global team responding around the clock to reports from our communities.

Snapchat

The safety of our community is our top priority and we go to great lengths to prevent and respond to any instance of child exploitation on our platform.

Our dedicated trust and safety team and law enforcement operations team work round the clock to enforce our policies and work closely with law enforcement and national organizations to prevent and respond to this type of illegal activity.

Live.me

Live.me is extremely invested in creating a positive and safe community for its users. Through human moderators and artificial intelligence, Live.me has continued to focus on users’ safety and as the social platform grows, additional measures are being added and scaled up to combat community policy violations. Live.me does, however, take issue with the accusation of ‘fundamentally enabling child sex abuse’, which we believe shows a lack of understanding of social media platforms on the agency’s part.

We have invested and continue to invest significant resources to develop the tools, technology, systems, and processes to combat some of the dangers that exist on social platforms, including, but not limited to grooming.

We work closely with law enforcement agencies across the globe to support investigations while navigating complex privacy issues. Instead, we would love to see these agencies provide guidance and leadership to make reporting and escalation more universal and accessible for all internet apps and services.

But are the Companies really doing enough to protect our children from what they trade?

I believe we could do much more than just be concerned. We they need to engage with our children and teach good them behavior on the internet.

While we continue to play the blame game, ‘parents’ reserve the primary responsibility for protecting their children online.

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