The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) have teamed up with Facebook, Twitter and Google to try to tackle online child sexual abuse imagery, and they have today published a very helpful article on how this initiative will work and why it is needed.

The IWF will share what are known as hashes of images, invisible tags which allow sites to detect child abuse images, but not view them, so that these images can be removed from the online space. It also protects the public from accidentally coming across such images and can even prevent the uploading of sexual abuse imagery, too.

All of these images will be placed into one central database called The Child Abuse Image Database (CAID). The database will be used to help the police prosecute offenders and protect victims.

Their very helpful article goes on to explain which types of hashes they will be using (PhotoDNA, MD5 and SHA-1) and which kinds of companies can get involved, for example: filtering, hosting and social media services.

There is also a very informative Question and Answer section in the article, and we add the flow diagram included, below: