jugendschutz.net report 2019: Sexual violence online

jugendschutz.net, the joint competence center of the federal and state governments for the protection of children and young people on the Internet, publishes a report on the current situation of sexualized violence against children online.

Children and young people are exposed to multiple sexual assaults online. In the new report, jugendschutz.net identifies several problem areas where urgent action is needed. These include, for example, the dissemination of depictions of abuse on the Internet, the networking of perpetrators on social media channels and the commenting with sexual content under actually harmless everyday pictures of children. The initiation of contact with the intention of abuse, known as cybergrooming, is also addressed.

In addition to summarizing the acute problem areas, the report also discusses what countermeasures are already being taken to curb the sexual exploitation of children and young people online. These include the consistent deletion of abuse images after evidence has been secured to identify the perpetrators. According to the report, jugendschutz.net was able to achieve deletion in over 90% of cases of abusive content in 2018.

Despite this high success rate, jugendschutz.net also sheds light on the urgent need for action and sees the providers of online platforms as being primarily responsible here. With their help, the dissemination of abusive images could be greatly curbed if, for example, machine-aided image recognition processes were used to detect punishable image material as soon as it is uploaded to the Internet. Providers whose services are also used by children and young people "(...) should already provide age-appropriate access when developing their services in accordance with the principle of safety by design. This minimizes the risk of sexual assault and confrontation with inappropriate sexualized content." In addition, there needs to be consistent research into how perpetrators network online and what methods of concealment they use in order to be able to prosecute them effectively, he added.  

  • The report "Sexualized violence online - better protecting children and young people from assault and abuse" can be downloaded here.
  • Content that is illegal, harmful to minors or developmentally harmful can be reported anonymously here.

More on the topic:

klicksafe news: Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Young People publishes Danger Atlas