Facebook-owned apps, including WhatsApp and Instagram used in over half of online grooming cases in England and Wales
New research from a children’s charity has warned that grooming crimes increased by 10 percent to 1,220 during the three months of lockdown, with more than half taking place on apps owned by the tech giant Facebook.
A study released on Thursday by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) highlights that online cases of sexual communication with a child increased by 10 percent between March and June, the first three months of the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
The figures, provided by 38 police forces in England and Wales, show that apps owned by the social media giant Facebook, notably WhatsApp and Instagram, were responsible for 51% of online grooming cases where a site was mentioned.
Instagram saw the largest rise in use by online child grooming offenders. The study found that the app was used in 37 percent of grooming cases where the platform was recorded, a 40 percent increase from previous years.
Disappearing picture messaging app, Snapchat, was used in 20 percent of cases.
The report highlights that online offences have increased annually, with total of 12,925 cases being recorded by police over the last three years.
NSPCC chief executive, Peter Wanless says the pandemic has created the “perfect storm” for increased online grooming crimes and warned that the worrying figures could get worse.
“Families have long paid the price for big tech’s failure to protect children from abuse, but the Prime Minister has the chance to turn the tide and put responsibility on firms to clean up the mess they created,” Wanless said.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection, supported the call, adding “in an increasingly digitally connected world, perpetrators of child abuse are conducting more and more of their activities online. Offenders use the internet to access and share child abuse images, and to make contact with and groom children directly.”
Tech companies, most notably Facebook and Twitter, have been under the spotlight in recent weeks for the censorship and suppression of political content. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have repeatedly been subpoenaed in the US to answer on matters relating to alleged bias and privacy violations.
Australia has told 13 special forces soldiers they face dismissal in relation to a report on alleged unlawful killings in Afghanistan,...
Former deputy secretary general of NATO and US ex-ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow says that the creation of a new status...
An activist who stood in a public place with the offending image has been charged with illegal assembly
PM Johnson gave the reassurance to an 8 year-old child named Monti, who had written to him asking if Father Christmas would be able to deliver gifts this year.
"The coronavirus disease is the first pandemic in history in which technology and social media are being used on a massive...
The layoffs will be in the first half of 2021, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Full-time U.S. operations employees who work for the e-commerce giant between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31 will qualify for a $300 bonus,...
Tesla CEO Elon Musk thinks the company's Class 8 Semi could have a range of 621 miles per charge thanks to the new battery technology it is developing.
Twitter claims it has reversed its censorship of a link to the lawsuit filed by attorney Sidney Powell that seeks to change the...
After his general election victory nearly a year ago, Boris Johnson said that he would unite the nation. Thanks to his new “tough...
‘Londoners have done exactly what has been asked of them since the start of this pandemic,’ mayor says
The remains of soccer legend Diego Maradona were brought to a cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 26, after large...
Chelsea have confirmed that 2,000 fans will provisionally be allowed to return to Stamford Bridge to watch their Premier League match against Leeds United on December 5.
India has blocked to-date 220 Chinese mobile apps, some of them made by China's prominent consumer-facing tech companies like ByteDance, Tencent and Alibaba.
Sequoia Capital, one of the best-known venture capital firms on Menlo Park's Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley, has made a major new bet on Europe.
Johnson is reshaping his senior team of advisers following the departure of Dominic Cummings earlier this month. Rosenfield joins...
“We believe that this product will never be licensed in the U.S.,” one group of critical U.S.-based analysts wrote this week.
The company's "conversion lift" tool suffered a glitch that reportedly affected thousands of ads between August 2019 and August 2020.
Government subsidies have helped fast-food chain operator Cafe de Coral Holdings avoid a loss in the six months ended September 30.
Government also preparing for all public workers to sign a declaration of loyalty in one round, minister says.
Positions with responsibility for railway safety, waste reduction and recycling initiatives, and boosting land supply were among the jobs withdrawn.
Charissa Ball and Yan Li have recently published the article “Regulation of Virtual Asset Service Providers in the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Bermuda”.
Cheung Kie-chung, 56, had admitted killing his wife Tina Chan on August 17, 2018 at their home in a university hall of residence where he was warden but denied murder.
Hong Kong’s home price index for lived-in homes fell 0.6 per cent to 380.9 last month, as owners continued to drop their prices...