NY Times article about child porn

Wanted to recommend this article the New York Times has just put out: The Internet Is Overrun With Images of Child Sexual Abuse. What Went Wrong? It begins: Last year, tech companies reported over 45 million online photos and videos of children being sexually abused — more than double what they found the previous year.

Some takeaways, for those who can’t read the article cause of the paywall or whatever:

  1. In 1998, there were about 3,000 reports of child porn online. By 2008, there were 100,000 reports annually. By 2014, there were one million. In 2018, there were 18.4 million.
  2. The Justice Department is tasked with keeping ahead of the child porn issue but hasn’t been doing its job properly.
  3. Part of the problem is funding. Consistently, Congress has only been providing the Justice Department about half the funds they promised, and this year 20% of what WAS provided got taken away again and re-allocated to (surprise!) immigration enforcement.
  4. The NCMEC is also supposed to work on this problem but it has serious shortcomings, including its reliance “in large measure on 20-year-old technology.”
  5. Tech companies are aware that people are using their platforms (such as Snapchat, etc) to distribute child porn, but the tech companies only act when such images are reported to them. They don’t look for the images themselves. The NYT compares it to someone who knows they have a pest problem, and it scares them, so they just don’t turn on the lights and pretend the roaches aren’t there.
  6. A lot of the information on tech platforms that could lead to the identity of the children and the perpetrators in child porn images gets deleted before law enforcement is able to access it.
  7. We’re f****ed.

11 thoughts on “NY Times article about child porn

  1. Mia September 29, 2019 / 8:17 pm

    Ugh. I truly do not understand what would possess someone to think that way. My husband and I recently found out a “friend” was accessing those type of websites using his company’s wireless connection… super smart. He ended up having thousands of images on his phone and computer, mostly originating from Russia. He only got 4 years in prison (after he was free on bond for several months).

  2. Meaghan September 29, 2019 / 8:46 pm

    The investigation actually paid for itself with all the fines and back taxes paid, but whatever.

  3. Meaghan September 29, 2019 / 8:54 pm

    Yeah I just checked and $40+ million was seized just from Paul Manafort. The investigation was quite profitable.

    • Meaghan September 30, 2019 / 12:54 am

      The 40 million was from Manafort only; a lot was taken from others as well. In any case, I think it was well spent.

  4. Meaghan September 30, 2019 / 8:43 am

    Look, we are kind of getting off topic here…

  5. Pm October 1, 2019 / 7:01 am

    Why does it say 5 comments but I only see one.

    • Meaghan October 1, 2019 / 10:28 am

      Because there was a big irrelevant political argument going on about the cost of the Mueller investigation and I decided to can it.

      • Vincent October 1, 2019 / 5:27 pm

        Thank you for doing that, Meaghan. Thank you for keeping our attention on missing people.

        If just one person is found because of your work, it’s all worthwhile. I wish people were better able to maintain focus.

      • Meaghan October 1, 2019 / 5:29 pm

        More than one person has been found as a direct result of what I do. I think maintaining a kind of memorial to the missing is also important, which is why I try to include details about their hobbies etc and the families they left behind, and why I put up cases where the person is obviously not going to be found.

  6. Mary October 4, 2019 / 9:14 pm

    I read the NYT article, and have to wonder if child trafficking has actually been made easier due to the growing technology of the Internet. Cases like Alicia Kozakiewicz might beg the question, “Why would a 13 year-old be chatting online with a guy and agree to meet him?” by some people. Then there is the problem of children’s photos posted on social media which can be subjected to abuse. There are so many other variables involved. I do not see the situation getting any better though.

    • Meaghan October 4, 2019 / 9:22 pm

      I chatted online with all sorts of people from age 11 onwards. I had a computer in my room by then. By the time I was 13 I had AOL Instant Messenger and would get random people who would message me all the time. Some of them I made friends with and am friends with today.

      I was contacted by some obvious pedophiles and told them to leave me alone, and they did. I did talk to some men, and became friends with them. The conversations we had were not sexual in nature but were sometimes inappropriate in other ways. One guy for example confided his marital problems to me, about how he’d met some woman online and planned to meet up with her for a sexual rendezvous. Now I wonder why he was telling a child all this stuff; perhaps he had no one else to confide to. He lived in the UK.

      I never agreed to meet any of those people from AOL Instant Messenger, at that time anyway. I did, as I said, maintain lasting friendships with some of these people and met one of them as an adult. A great guy. We began chatting when I was 13 and he was 19 and have a brother-sister kind of relationship.

      I am no longer in contact with the guy with wife troubles. I kind of wish I still was; I liked him. But AOL Instant Messenger isn’t a thing anymore and he never told me his full name, so I can’t find him on Facebook. I suppose if he wants to look me up he can.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s