Stolen innocence gone viral 🤬
A warning: This article is about one of the most sinister corners of the internet and contains graphic descriptions.There has been a boom in the online trading and sharing of images and videos of children — some just 3 or 4 years old, some even younger — being sexually abused and tortured.Last year, tech companies flagged a record 45 million illegal images, more than double what they had found the previous year, and a Times investigation found a response systemthat’s unable to keep up.While global in scope, the problem is rooted in the U.S. because of the role Silicon Valley plays in the spread and detection of the material. Here are takeaways from the investigation.
How we know: The Times reviewed over 10,000 pages of police and court documents; conducted software tests to assess the availability of the imagery through search engines; accompanied detectives on raids; and spoke with investigators, lawmakers, tech executives and government officials.The reporting also included conversations with an admitted pedophile who concealed his identity and who runs a site that has hosted as many as 17,000 such images.
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