UK declares Snapchat’s involvement in nearly half of child abuse imagery crimes in 2023


(MENAFN) New figures unveiled by the NSPCC children's charity through Freedom of Information requests to 35 police forces in the UK reveal that Snapchat was implicated in nearly half of the crimes involving child abuse imagery over the past year.

In addition, Facebook, Instagram, as well as WhatsApp were cited in approximately a quarter of cases where police linked the crime to an online platform.

The statistics further indicate a 25 percent surge in the number of recorded child abuse image crimes by UK police forces within a year, amounting to a total of 160,000 offenses documented since 2017.

The recently passed Online Safety Act aims to hold social media companies more accountable for the content shared on their platforms. Regulated by Ofcom, the guidelines for enforcing these laws are currently under development.

However, concerns loom over potential delays in enforcement, which could result in years before the measures are fully implemented.

A 14-year-old girl who was duped by an adult into sharing explicit photographs informed the NSPCC's ChildLine counselling service: "One night I got chatting with this guy online who I'd never met and he made me feel so good about myself.

"He told me he was 15, even though deep down I didn't believe him. I sent him a couple of semi-nudes on Snap[chat], but then instantly regretted it."

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