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Facebook, Google, Twitter Join Forces To Block ‘Hash List’ Of Child Porn Images

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In a bid to crack possibly the most distressing part of our world wide web i.e. child porn, world’s top technology giants are teaming up to block, what is actually a sort of ‘hash list’ of child pornographic images.

The ‘hash list’ of child sexual abuse images is actually a database, which has been prepared by the Internet Watch Foundation through numerous mechanisms.

So how does this hash list work ?

Well each of the images has been assessed by a highly-trained analyst and assigned a “digital fingerprint” (also known as a hash value) – a unique code created by running the image through an algorithm. In layman terms, this is like your barcodes on various products, each having a unique identification number. These hash values are immediately recognised by algorithms of these tech giants, and are hence removed.

The hash value will remain the same, even if the file has been copied multiple times. This essentially means, that even if someone tries to deliberately share an image on Facebook or Twitter with different parameters, the image will be automatically recognised and blocked.

This hashing technology that the tech companies will use to identify known child abuse images has been developed by Google, and is now being shared with the wider industry, reports The Telegraph. The IWF said that all eligible members will soon be offered access to the hash list.

Susie Hargreaves, chief executive of the Internet Watch Foundation said,

The IWF hash list could be a game-changer and really steps up the fight against child sexual abuse images online, It means victims’ images can be identified and removed more quickly, and we can prevent known child sexual abuse images from being uploaded to the internet in the first place.

A tech similar to Google’s ‘hash list’ has already been used by Dropbox and Google itself, to prevent users from sharing or storing copyright-protected images. However, this will be the first time that the tech is being used for blocking child porn.

The IWF said many internet companies can make use of the hash list, including those that provide services such as the upload, storage or search of images, filtering services, hosting services, social media and chat services, data centres and connectivity services.

Also, the foundation is updating the hash list regularly, with an aim of pulling down as many as 500 websites on a daily basis.


 

Editor-at-large and co-founder at The Tech Portal. He is a tech enthusiast with interests in new-age technology fields like Ai, Machine Learning, AR/VR, Outer Space and related stuff. Drop him a mail anytime, very reachable.


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