I’m really pleased to hear that Google and Microsoft have agreed to block as many as 100,000 search terms for child abuse images. And I’m glad that David Cameron is backing this ‘vote winning’ campaign.
What I can’t understand is why the major search engines needed a push from the Government to do this? Surely it could have been a good PR/CSR exercise? A major online audience in the UK is mums so you might think that would be in the search engines interest to win this audience over.
And whilst the government will be pushing the search engine organisations to act, the biggest problem is that most child abuse sites are hidden networks whose web addresses are passed on from person to person rather than promoted through search terms.
Jim Gamble, former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:
“A better solution would be to spend £1.5m on hiring 12 child protection experts and 12 co-ordinators in each of the police regions to hunt down online predators”.
I hope that the government listen. It’s not just the responsibility of the search engines like Google and Bing to put an end to child abuse. We all need to act to prevent pedophiles from harming our children. Personally, I’d welcome more education on how to keep my child safe then at least I could do my bit.
However let’s not forget that ‘this is a win’ – albeit a small one – in the battle against child abuse.