The UK’s top police officer Simon Bailey who is the National Police Chiefs Council lead on child protection has criticised WhatsApp for failing to stop paedophiles sharing child sex abuse images and the grooming of children. He says;” WhatsApp should face new laws unless it takes urgent action.”
In particularly he has concerns, along with the National Crime Agency (NCA) – about WhatsApp and their response to the way their platform is being used. It is alleged that offenders use it to facilitate the sharing of indecent images and to groom and it is thought that Child pornography is still being openly and extensively shared via the messenger app WhatsApp, despite the company banning thousands of accounts on a daily basis, researchers have claimed.
Despite online safety organisations being set up in order track down certain groups and people who share videos and images of child sexual abuse, many still manage to slip through the net and go undetected via WhatsApp. WhatsApp does periodically monitor these groups and a group called “Kids boy gay” has recently been taken down and participants banned after WhatsApp was notified about the group.
A WhatsApp spokesperson said:
“WhatsApp has a zero-tolerance policy around child sexual abuse. We deploy our most advanced technology, including artificial intelligence, to scan profile photos and images in reported content, and actively ban accounts suspected of sharing this vile content.
We also respond to law enforcement requests around the world and immediately report abuse to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. Sadly, because both app stores and communications services are being misused to spread abusive content, technology companies must work together to stop it.”
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