(PatriotWise.com) — Stanford University researchers are accusing Instagram of facilitating a child pornography network. The Wall Street Journal has been working with Stanford and the University of Massachusetts, and they claim the social media platform has allowed and promoted accounts that contain graphic adult images and films involving underage children.
The Wall Street Journal reported, “Instagram connects pedophiles and guides them to content sellers via recommendation systems that excel at linking those who share niche interests, the Journal and the academic researchers found.”
Some of the content allegedly available on the platform is highly disturbing, including images featuring children with animals. Instagram furthermore allows users to search for content using explicit terminology. Non-pornographic but still distressing footage can be found of children hurting themselves, and there is even a facility for predators to arrange real-life meetings with kids.
Meta, the company that owns Instagram and Facebook, said, “Child exploitation is a horrific crime. We’re continuously investigating ways to actively defend against this behavior.” A statement from the company furthermore claimed that it has already removed 27 pedophile networks from its platforms. It said it has launched an investigation and “set up an internal task force to investigate these claims and immediately address them.”
The Stanford report furthermore claims that there is far more such content on Instagram than on Twitter, and Twitter removes it faster when notified.
A report in 2020 found that pornographic content involving children is widespread on the internet and across major social media platforms. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said the tips it received about such content rose from 983,734 in March 2019 to 2,027,520 a year later. While platforms insist they can search for and eradicate illegal images, distributors routinely find ways around this and use codewords that may not be identifiable or known by the platform’s censors.
All major social media companies say that child exploitation is their number one priority and they exercise zero tolerance in this regard.
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