IWF launch the Hash List

10 Aug 2015 UK SIC

Partners in the UK Safer Internet Centre, the Internet Watch Foundation, have today launched new technology to help in the fight against child abuse images online

The ‘Hash List’, aims to step up efforts to make the internet a hostile place to share, view and download and trade images of children being sexually abused. 

It works by allocating a digital fingerprint to an image, known as a hash.  By sharing the Hash List with organisations such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, web companies will be able to prevent people from sharing, or uploading these images. 

This will enable the online industry to actively protect their customers and help victims of child sexual abuse by speeding up the identification and removal of content worldwide. 

As the IWF outline the Hash List will enable:

  • Victims’ images can be identified and removed more quickly, preventing them from being shared time and time again.
  • Child sexual abuse images will be prevented from being uploaded to the internet in the first place. This gives internet companies the power to stop people from repeatedly sharing the images on their services.
  • Men, women and children of all ages are protected from accidentally stumbling across the images online.

 As CEO of the IWF, Susie Hargreaves, said: “The IWF Hash List could be a game-changer and really steps up the fight against child sexual abuse images online.”

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