Meta and Google Lead Joint Effort to Combat Online Child Abuse in Lantern Program


Major tech companies, including Meta (Facebook), Google, Snap, Discord, and others, have joined forces in a new program aimed at combating online child sexual abuse and exploitation.

This initiative, known as Lantern, involves the sharing of signals that indicate violations of their policies regarding child exploitation.

These signals could include email addresses, keywords, or hashtags used for grooming or trading in material related to child abuse.

The goal of Lantern is to enable platforms to more effectively detect, remove, and report problematic content associated with child exploitation.

The initiative is part of the Tech Coalition’s efforts to bring tech companies together to address this pressing issue.

Sean Litton, Executive Director of the Tech Coalition, highlighted that this program fills a gap by providing a consistent procedure for companies to collaborate in the fight against predatory actors across various services.

During a pilot of the program, Meta removed over 10,000 Facebook profiles, pages, and Instagram accounts based on data shared by Mega, a privacy-focused platform from New Zealand.

Meta also reported these accounts to the US-based National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and shared its findings with other platforms for further investigation.

Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety at Meta, emphasized the need for the technology industry to work collectively to protect children from predators who often operate across multiple platforms.

This announcement coincided with a Senate hearing in Washington, where a former Meta senior engineer revealed that top executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, ignored warnings about the safety of teenagers on the company’s platforms.

The engineer disclosed that 13% of 13-15-year-olds on Instagram reported receiving unwanted sexual advances on the platform in the past week, highlighting the need for improved safety measures.

Source: Channels TV

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