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Combating child pornography in social networks and video/photo hosting

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Social networks began to be popular a few years ago, because, firstly, they satisfy the need of Internet users for communication and socialization, and secondly - they open up space for creativity and expression of oneself (the functional allows you to create and publish content yourself and without premoderation) .

Users of social networks (both world-wide and Russian-speaking) can communicate with each other in cyberspace, upload photos and videos, share with their friends links to interesting content for one reason or another, exchange virtual gifts and so on. Many people (especially in Russia) came to the Network precisely through the so-called. "Sotsialki" - in other words, they learned to use the world wide web to find classmates or old friends in the service, and after having communicated with them they appreciated the advantages of the Internet. For example, in RuNet there was a huge increase in user activity due to social networks Odnoclassniki and VK.

  In general, with the popularity of the blogosphere and social services, the Internet has entered a new, Web 2.0-era, when users are not so much consumers of information as its creators, and are active.

  Unfortunately, not everything is so rosy. Mass and rapid growth of social networks two or three years ago led to a number of negative consequences, among them the emergence of new forms of cybercrime: from fraudulent schemes to the spread of child pornography by users. Pornographic content is published both in closed groups or communities, and in open access, depending on the purposes of the "author" of publications.

  In August 2009, the Ministry of Internal Affairs Russia recognized the social network VK as the main storehouse for child pornography in the Russian segment of the Internet. The resource VK accounted for more than half of this kind of content, revealed during the activities of law enforcement agencies on the Net this year (870 pages of the network from 1409).

  Indeed, pornographic content (including with the participation of minors) appears in a social network with an "enviable" regularity: users create thematic groups and pages, unite according to their "interests", publish dozens and hundreds of pornographic videos, text notes, etc. Etc.

  To understand how real this problem is, just enter on the search page (by interests, videos or communities) a few "key" queries (which we, of course, we will not call) - and the results will show a variety of pornographic content "for every taste ". The administration of the social network, although and says that it cooperates with law enforcement bodies, can hardly cut off the whole array of such information published by users - this would be possible only by introducing a pre-moderation. But premoderation, first, would take away a huge amount of forces and time moderators, and secondly, what is even more important - it contradicts the very idea of ​​a social network in which users publish what they want, and do it quickly.

  And other social networks face the same problem. In Odnoklassniki, finding child pornography is somewhat more difficult (in any case, the search is not possible "one-click" on the key request, as in the case of "VK"), but this does not mean that such content is not on the resource pages. Many active users of the Russian segment of the Internet remember the scandal associated with one of the largest Russian portals - Mail.ru.

In the spring of 2009, a group of concerned with the problem tried to attract ATTENTION to the public to spread pornography involving children in the social network Mail.ru "Moi mir" (one of the largest "social" sites in RuNet). A statement of the prosecutor's office was written, copies of the pages of the groups and individual users were made, which contained materials relating to child and infant pornography. The administration has promised to strengthen control over user content and to suppress the activity of such a sense, but it hardly solved the problem completely.

  In talking about Russian venues that provide high user activity, one should note one sad and alarming feature peculiar to everyone: site administrators simply have not yet developed adequate actions to combat the spread of pornographic content, including child pornography. In addition, the owners of Internet resources do not have and a clear policy of confrontation: it seems that they are up to the last try to turn a blind eye to the prohibited content, as if, if problems are not noticed, it will disappear.

  A little different is the situation with Western services. Popular in Russia bloghosting Livejournal.com though and belongs to a Russian company, but "lives" according to the rules that correspond to American legislation (extremely strict in respect of child pornography And sexual exploitation of minors). In this regard, the Conflict Commission of the Live Journal (Abuse Team) acts very decisively and strictly: when users discover "ambiguous" information, accounts are blocked immediately and forever.

  Popular American social networks - Facebook and MySpace - also face the problem of child pornography. MySpace (for which the problem is especially relevant, since the "core" of the audience is young people) is actively cooperating with law enforcement agencies, reporting suspicious activity of certain users. In 2006, the resource entered into an agreement with Sentinel Tech Holding, which created and replenished the base of American perverts (which accounted for more than 700,000) Sentinel Safe, who committed sexual crimes in the territory of USA. Hundreds of thousands of perverts due to this cooperation are removed from the social network. As for Facebook, and for this resource the problem is very acute - and administrators undertake to respond to user complaints within days (and, if necessary, report to law enforcement agencies).

What to do?

  First of all, all social networks have the opportunity to complain to the administration. This can be done with the help of special buttons (informing about a particular material that causes questions, be it video, photo or text), on the feedback page, in the profiles of moderators and so on. If you find that someone from the social network is distributing child pornography, do not be lazy and report it. And remember: the administration, first, is obliged to respond to your complaints, and secondly - to report on the work done (such a system, for example, is well implemented in Livejournal.com).

  Do not trust the moderators of the social network? Your complaint is ignored? Contact specialists through "hot lines", which are aimed at collecting information about illegal content and dealing with it.

  In particular, within the framework of the project "Center for Secure of Internet in Russia" such a "Hot line" works. You can report the fact of detection on the pages of Internet sites as materials of pornographic content, and other types of violations: extremist and terrorist content, crimes against the person, sectarian information, bullying and so on.

  Remember that the main thing in such cases is not to be silent. Dozens and hundreds of people stumble on the Internet every day to illegal information, and most of them, even when indignant and shocked, pass by. But you can not turn a blind eye to such cases, because the publication of pornographic content with the participation of children is only the tip of the iceberg. Social networks are actively used by children and adolescents who can become victims of criminals, and on the active position of Internet users it depends whether they will be able to protect them.


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