Child protection requires a global and comprehensive response. Ongoing action is required from industry, law enforcement, government, civil society and families. We collaborate on efforts like the Technology Coalition - Fighting Child Sexual Abuse dedicated to eradicating the sexual exploitation of children online.
We work with leading internet safety organizations from around the world. Our efforts include developing industry best practices, building and sharing technology to fight online child exploitation, supporting victim services and more.
Here are some of our collaborations to date:
In 2019, we developed two open source photo and video-matching technologies. Known as PDQ and TMK+PDQF, they detect identical and nearly identical photos and videos. These technologies are part of a suite of tools we use to detect harmful content.
The open source tools allow industry partners, developers and nonprofits to identify abusive content. They can also share "hashes" (or digital fingerprints) of different types of harmful content. Because the tool allows hash-sharing systems to communicate with each other, it makes the systems that much more powerful.
We’ve supported Tech Matters’ project, Aselo, since 2020. Aselo develops technology to support child helplines around the world and make them accessible to children in crisis. Tech Matters has built an open source contact center platform that unifies the communications work of crisis response helplines. With the tool, people and especially children, will have far more access points to reach the help they need, including via voice, SMS, web chat, WhatsApp and Messenger.
With our nonprofit partners, we have hosted regular child safety hackathons since 2016. We bring together engineers, data scientists and designers from across the industry. Participants code and prototype projects focused on making the internet a safer place for children.
In 2020 we piloted the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) in collaboration with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and the UK government. The tool allows minors to report sexually explicit, self-generated images.
We launched AMBER Alerts on Facebook in 2015 and Instagram in 2022. These alerts help families and authorities successfully recover missing children. The feature is active in over 20 countries. People in a designated search area where local law enforcement has activated an AMBER Alert will see the alert. It includes a photo of the missing child, a description, the location of the abduction and any other relevant information.
People can share the alert with friends to spread awareness, tapping into a desire to help. Chances of finding a missing child increase when more people are on the lookout, especially in the critical first hours. Our goal is to help get these alerts to the people who are in the best position to help.
The Technology Coalition formed 15 years ago when industry leaders came together to fight online child sexual exploitation and abuse.
In 2020, Facebook joined Google, Microsoft and 15 other member companies to launch Project Protect: A plan to combat online child sexual abuse. This includes a renewed commitment and investment from the Technology Coalition to expand its scope and impact to protect kids online and guide its work for years to come. Project Protect focuses on five key areas: tech innovation, collective action, independent research, information and knowledge sharing and transparency and accountability.
Thorn is a nonprofit organization that builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse.
Meta collaborated with Thorn to develop stopsextortion.com, which we translated onto our Safety Center to expand its reach and provide language coverage all over the globe. In addition, we worked with Thorn and its youth program, NoFiltr, to create educational materials that reduce the shame and stigma surrounding the sharing of intimate images. Our work together is designed to empower teens to seek help and take back control when they’ve experienced harmful interactions online.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has been a key partner in our mission to keep the internet safe for children. Since 2019, we have been working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to update their Case Management Tool. We're collaborating to help international law enforcement receive, triage, manage and organize reports.
Here's what they've said about working with us over the years:
“The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has been working with Facebook since 2006 in an effort to reduce child sexual abuse material online and ensure incidents are reported to our CyberTipline. Over this time, Facebook has consistently demonstrated its leadership and willingness to be a proactive leader in the fight to keep the internet safer for everyone. While the amount of content taken down may be surprising, it is a reminder that the sexual exploitation of children is a global problem that demands a multi-faceted global solution.”
Michelle C. DeLaune, NCMEC Chief Operating Officer