If you find it, report it: How Google is helping in the fight against child sexual exploitation

The police, social services and dedicated organisations like The Rose Project have been working hard to combat child sexual exploitation for many years. But with the internet making communication between children and offenders easier to initiate and harder to track, ensuring young people at risk get the help and support they need can be difficult.

Luckily, international tech giants like Google are beginning to realise that they can play a big role in the protection of children. As a result they are creating new policies and user guidelines aimed at tackling the issue and making the internet safer.

Having these big companies working with the police and dedicated organisations not only shows just how important the issue is, but it can also make a huge difference in keeping children and young people safe and stopping exploitation as quickly as possible.

Scanning emails

One of the biggest steps Google has taken to combat child sexual exploitation is to automatically scan attachments and report inappropriate images to the police.

This means that offenders can no longer email sexual images or videos of children or young people to other offenders. Though this won’t stop child sexual exploitation altogether, it will make it more difficult for photos and videos to spread instantly around the world.

This is actually the same technology that Google uses to fine tune the ads it shows you as you’re browsing the web, showing that the company can use its expertise to keep children safe as well as earn money.

If you find it, report it

Another of Google’s policies relating to child sexual exploitation is “If you find it, report it”. The policy encourages users to report any inappropriate content straight to Google. They will then take steps to have the content removed and will report the person who posted it to the authorities.

Reporting spam, abuse or inappropriate content - Google+ HelpIf any users are found to have posted videos, photos or even cartoons that show children in a sexual way, Google will disable their account, remove the content and report them to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

By asking users to report sexual images of children and by scanning emails and attachments for inappropriate content, Google is beginning to make the internet safer and more secure for children around the world.

And though many adults who exploit children may still find ways around these rules, making life as difficult as possible for them will help to keep children safer.

If you or anyone you know is at risk of child sexual exploitation or you just want more information about keeping yourself and your friends safe, get in touch with the Rose Project today on 0808 800 1037 and get the help and support you need.