“Disturbing” new data should act as incentive for government to prevent any further delays to the Online Safety Bill

21 Nov 2022 UK SIC

The UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC) believes “disturbing” new data should act as an incentive for government to prevent any further delays to the Online Safety Bill.

Research by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a partner charity of the UKSIC, today revealed that children as young as seven are being coerced into inserting household items, such as pencils and toothbrushes, into their vaginas and anuses for the sexual gratification of online predators.

Over a five-day period, analysts at the child protection charity found nearly 900 instances of the most severe form of child sexual abuse material, Category A, involving either sexual penetration acts of bestiality or sadism. All the criminal content was of a “self-generated” nature.

Reacting to the research, a spokesperson for the UKSIC said: “These findings are deeply disturbing and should be sending shockwaves through Westminster and the rest of the world.

“This is happening to our children right now, with predators targeting our most vulnerable whilst they’re sat in the apparent safety and security of their bedrooms and homes. The IWF carries out incredibly vital work in unearthing the worst of the internet and it’s imperative this research is not ignored.

“2023 is on the horizon and, as we stand, we are failing our young people every minute that Online Safety Bill discussions are delayed. We are relentless in our mission to see a safer internet for all, but we need the support of government and robust legislation to do this.

“The Bill remains at a substantial risk of falling through and this data is an example of the real-life threats that our children are being exposed to daily. These constant delays to productive conversations regarding the Bill are frustrating and unacceptable but also dangerous. We are neglecting our children for as long as these talks are shelved and are putting them at risk of being victims to these online predators.”

For more information on the IWF’s research, click here.

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