The Internet Watch Foundation’s figures are stark.
- 1000% increase in sexual abuse imagery of children aged between 5 and 11 since the COVID pandemic.
- 4% increase in reports of child sexual abuse imagery online from 2021 to 2022.
- Record 255,500 URLs confirmed to contain images or videos of child sex abuse in 2022. These figures are taken from the IWF’s 2022 Annual Report.
Sadly, these statistics are only expected to increase in the IWF’s next annual report when published in March.
What is the IWF?
Let’s go back to 1996. For those old enough to remember, this was the year of the nascent internet, AOL, the first Java programming language, dial-up internet, the creation of Hotmail, and the release of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 3.0. It was also the year that the Internet Watch Foundation was established as an Internet safety non-profit organization.
The purpose of the IWF is to help protect child victims of sexual abuse by hunting down and removing any online child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The IWF’s first chair of the Policy Board was a solicitor, Mark Stephens, and under his leadership, they developed new guidance, codes, and the first mechanism for reporting illegal online content.
After some organizational and structural changes, the IWF was re-launched in the early 2000’s with the backing of the UK government. The then E-Commerce minister, Patricia Hewitt, hailed the IWF as playing “a vital role in combating criminal material on the Net.” The same is true today. Modern IWF agents have a challenging task. Each reported URL must be reviewed by a human eye to confirm that it contains CSAM. Rebrandly is incredibly grateful for their support and dedication to the cause.
Rebrandly’s partnership with IWF
In the context of the proliferation of CSAM online, it is incumbent upon internet companies to take action to prevent the dissemination of such material and protect the victims. That is why Rebrandly felt morally compelled to join the IWF and support its critical mission. Rebrandly joins over 190 tech companies that have taken up membership. Rebrandly, the global leader in secure link management, will leverage the IWF’s work and services to bolster its already powerful ability to programmatically and immediately identify and block abusive online material.
Trust and Safety
This partnership is the latest step taken by Rebrandly to further its trust and security posture for the benefit of its customers, partners, and the public as a whole. Other recent enhancements include:
- SOC 2 Type II report renewed
- HIPAA compliance announced
- Rebrandly Trust Center launched: trust.rebrandly.com
- Strategic Trust and Security Partner Engagements established (OneTrust, Hypercomply, SafeBase, Drata, ContractSafe, IQ Abuse Manager)
- Powerful security innovation released to customers and partners (e.g. Password Protected Links)
To learn more about privacy and trust at Rebrandly visit our trust center at trust.rebrandly.com.