LONDON – England and Wales’s police have recorded 1944 cases of sexual communication with children on social media platforms. Out of all the social media platforms, Instagram is the most used which recorded 32% of the 1317 cases whereas the percent of cases on Facebook and Snapchat are respectively, 23% and 14% respectively. Since April 2017, sexual communication with a child is a crime and all the social media platforms namely, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have said that they would take proper action against such offenders.
According to the report of NSPCC, Instagram is the most used social media platform which offenders use for child grooming. Also, the NSPCC report stated that there is an increase of 200 percent of cases of child grooming from 2017 to 2018 on Instagram. Ever since sexual communication has been declared as an offense from 2017, more than 5000 such instances have been recorded, the NSPCC report showed. And among the victims, girls aged 12 to 15 were most likely to be targeted by groomers. On this issue, Facebook and Instagram have promised to take necessary actions to prevent such events on social media platforms.
“Keeping young people safe on our platforms is our top priority and child exploitation of any kind is not allowed,” a spokesperson for Facebook and Instagram said in a statement. “We use advanced technology and work closely with the police and CEOP (The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command) to aggressively fight this type of content and protect young people.”
Facebook and Instagram also revealed that it removes all the obscene content from its platform which leads to the exploitation of children. And it is working hard to block users searching for known child exploitation terms. NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless urged politicians to come forward to take stringent action against such cases since platforms have failed to protect its youngest users even after “10 years of failed self-regulation.”
“These figures are overwhelming evidence that keeping children safe cannot be left to social networks,” Wanless said.