Some 16.9 million referrals were made by US tech firms to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) last year, including 69 million images of children being abused – up 50% on the previous year.
Some 94% of the reports, which include the worst category of images, came from Facebook
the National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned the number could drop to zero if Facebook presses ahead with end-to-end encryption.
“The end-to-end encryption model that’s being proposed takes out of the game one of the most successful ways for us to identify leads, and that layers on more complexity to our investigations, our digital media, our digital forensics, our profiling of individuals and our live intelligence leads, which allow us to identify victims and safeguard them.
Recently unsealed court document found that investigators can request such data in reverse order by asking Google to disclose everyone who searched a keyword rather than for information on a known suspect.
Tech companies largely oppose paring Section 230’s protections, which they say have been essential to the development of the internet. Now with the election just weeks away, some warn that the legislation could make tech platforms reluctant to act on potentially harmful disinformation.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has said Section 230 should be “revoked”, arguing that tech companies should be held to the same standards as media companies, which can be sued for printing falsehoods.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., one of the original authors of Section 230, accused the Trump administration of trying to intimidate tech companies.
Beyond thrilled to finally share a sneak peek of our Facebook partnership with Ray-Ban! Our first smart glasses will launch next year, and that’s just the beginning… The future will be a classic and it’s coming in 2021 😎 pic.twitter.com/l9992ZQGoy
Critics of Facebook and Twitter — and even some people inside the companies — say dramatic action is needed to counter the way the platforms supercharge false, and sometimes dangerous, claims.
On social media, it is easy for rumors to go viral, while efforts to fact check or correct those rumors often lag behind.
Part of the reason these claims spread so widely on Facebook, in particular, is that the world’s biggest social network rewards engagement. Posts that get lots of shares, comments and likes get shown to more people, quickly amplifying their reach.
Facebook is well aware of its power to make stories go viral. As the fire rumors proliferated, the company put warnings on some posts its fact checkers had found false and reduced their distribution.
Bin Jwain, A. (2020). Role of Social Media on Social Awareness and Engagement. International Journal on E-Learning, 19(4), 331-354. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved September 22, 2020 from https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/184634/.