Hate, violence and abuse on the net: jugendschutz.net increasingly achieves deletion

Online content is becoming more drastic and spreading faster and faster. Prevention and rapid intervention are necessary to enable young people to use the Internet without worry. With its work, jugendschutz.net makes an important contribution. In its annual report, jugendschutz.net presents the results of last year's research and controls.

Beheadings in close-up, hateful memes, defamatory videos: Children and young people are confronted with brutal and degrading depictions online, which spread rapidly on the social web and achieve high reach. jugendschutz.net, for example, registered more than 100,000 hits within two days for a sex video that publicly exposed a young girl.

In order to enable children and young people to use the Internet as risk-free as possible, the cycle of liking and sharing content harmful to minors must be broken as quickly as possible. jugendschutz.net therefore focused its research on services with an affinity for young people and checked 120,000 offers in 2016. jugendschutz.net was able to have two thirds of the registered violations removed quickly, thus increasing the deletion rate by 15%.

"Dangers for young users must be quickly removed from the net. New dangerous trends require criteria with their finger on the pulse", explains Cornelia Holsten, Chairwoman of the Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (KJM). "On the Internet, the KJM is the watchdog and marks the boundaries when children and young people are being harmed." In order to support the KJM's decision-making practice as a body of the state media authorities, jugendschutz.net forwarded 388 cases in 2016. The focus was primarily on the elimination of violations on the topic of hate and incitement.

"The work of jugendschutz.net is of great importance for the implementation of youth protection on the Internet as well", states Dr. Christiane Rohleder, the Rhineland-Palatinate State Secretary for Youth. "Especially in the case of drastic depictions of violence or child pornography, the work of jugendschutz.net is indispensable to ensure that such content is deleted as quickly as possible. However, the reports also make it clear that global platforms such as Facebook, in particular, are now better at fulfilling their responsibility to quickly delete content when notified by jugendschutz.net. However, users still have a lot of catching up to do when they report such information. Especially in the case of horrific depictions such as beheadings, there is no justification for inaction on the part of the platform operators. Even after jugendschutz.net's advice, Twitter deleted only half of the reported content, and the messenger Telegram deleted none at all. For Facebook and YouTube, the deletion rates were 85% and 86%, respectively."

In 2016, jugendschutz.net checked a total of 121,908 websites for violations of the protection of minors from harmful media. jugendschutz.net processed 6,011 cases last year. 38% were related to political extremism, 21% were pornographic and 13% were depictions of the sexual exploitation of minors. German perpetrators were identified in only 15% of the cases (902). In two thirds of the cases (66 %), jugendschutz.net was able to achieve a quick elimination of violations (2015: 51 %).

"With its work, jugendschutz.net makes an important contribution to children and young people growing up well with media", State Secretary Dr. Rohleder and KJM Chairwoman Cornelia Holsten conclude. In consultation with the state media authorities, the youth ministries of the federal and state governments therefore decided in 2016 to expand the office into a joint competence center and to permanently secure its research, networking and communication tasks.

The 2016 annual report is available for download at jugendschutz.net/pdf/bericht2016.pdf.