The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has revealed that the number of websites that have been blocked for showing child abuse images has risen by more than a third in the past year.

The IWF have added filters for internet providers that can detect and then block images of child abuse and creates a fingerprint of the image. The fingerprint is then sent to Google so that the images are not re-uploaded.

When the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) was set up in 1996 the number of child abuse images hosted in the UK was 18 per cent. That number dropped to 0.04 per cent in 2018.

IWF chief executive Susie Hargreaves says:

“Despite us removing more and more images than ever before, and despite creating and using some of the world’s leading technology, it’s clear that this problem is far from being solved. With this continued demand for images of child rape, it’s a constant battle.”

Images are being hosted from international countries, which makes the task more difficult. The IWF have been able to ban over 100,000 webpages containing 345,961 images showing child sexual abuse.

The Netherlands is responsible for hosting 47 per cent of abuse imagery that was blocked in 2018. The US, Russia, and Slovenia each hosted 10 per cent of IWF blocked images.

Susie Hargreaves:

“The cause of the problem is the demand. Unfortunately, and as the police tell us often, there are 100,000 people sitting in the UK right now demanding images of the abuse of children. With this continued demand for images of child rape, it’s a constant battle.”

The Government has announced plans that they will fund an independent watchdog that will have the power to fine large companies that host images of child abuse, self-harm, terrorism, and other harmful images. The plans have been delayed on previous occasions and it is believed that they could take years to apply.


If you have been affected by anything in this article and would like to speak to one of specialist child abuse compensation Solicitors in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can advise you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. Our abuse team can be contacted free on 0800 9555 094 or you can request a call back and a member of our team will be in touch with you.


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