In todays climate of increased concern over on line abuse and cyber crime, it was interesting to read in the BBC news this week of a campaign to encourage those who inadvertently stumble across child sexual abuse images whilst using the internet to report them.
The IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) has an anonymous hotline where such images can be reported. The article is mainly directed at young males. A survey conducted by the group concluded that out of just over 1,000 males between the ages of 16 – 24 only 44% would actually report such images if they came across them whilst using the internet. Given that over 50% of those surveyed said they were concerned about stumbling across such images, it would suggest that the reluctance to report may be due to a fear of getting into trouble themselves.
It is important to get this message out to young people who may otherwise be concerned about any implication for themselves. Internet crime and the presence or the distribution of illegal images on line has been a growing problem in recent years. It is good to read that people are being encouraged to report what they find and are being reassured that they will not be getting into any trouble if they stumble across these inadvertently.