Welcome to another week and another question. The topic this time is child abuse imagery.

Damien Green MP, the minister for policing and criminal justice said last week that images of child abuse online have become more extreme than ever before and that such images are now estimated to run into tens of thousands.

We’ve certainly noticed an alarming rise in the number of worrying search terms people have used to find images on the net. These terms invariably come to our attention because our blog is child-focused and so they show up on our analytics data.

This morning for example, someone on the internet has already created a search using the words, “child porn pink pussy”. We dread to think what other search terms the day will bring.

But it got us thinking.

Much like plans heralded by Google and other tech giants, Damien Green now wants to create a database of images like the ones mentioned above, so that police can start to track and locate abused children and their abusers. Mr Green explains in the article above that such technology already has achieved positive results – when one image of a child was shared throughout a police network recently, that child was located the following morning, from the other side of the world.

There are millions of blogs out there like ours too, who must find that concerning search terms are used to try to locate indecent images of children, and yet no technology has been put forward to try to track and trace the origins of those searches. It may be that some of these research terms are not used by paedophiles but others doing work in the field trying to locate abusers, though we suspect much of what we see should be of concern to the relevant authorities.

Our question this week then, is this: how can we protect children from child abuse online?

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