Calls to Online Child Sex Abuse Watchdog up 45% in September

  • A hotline for reporting suspected child abuse material online had a record month in September, with calls increasing by 45%, driven by the shift to working from home and more time spent online, an internet watchdog has said
  • The UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which identifies child sexual abuse content online, said it processed 15,258 reports from the public in September 2020, a record for the charity and up from 10,514 in September 2019
  • Analysts at the IWF’s hotline assess the reports so that criminal material can be quickly removed from the internet
  • In 2020, up to September the IWF processed a total of 230,520 reports, including tip-offs from members of the public, the police and internet providers. In the whole of 2019, itself a record year, IWF analysts processed 260,400 reports
  • The IWF’s hotline director, Chris Hughes, said: “More people spending longer at home, and more people being more active online may mean more people are spotting criminal content and calling it out”

Campaigners Claim Diet App Promoted by Apple is Harmful

  • Eating disorder charities have issued a warning about a “harmful” diet app that had been promoted on the Apple App Store to over-12s
  • Carrot Fit aims “to transform your flabby carcass into a Grade A specimen of the human race” using encouragement in the form of light-hearted abuse
  • It said it had helped thousands of users meet their health goals
  • But critics said that the app was irresponsible and could trigger eating disorders
  • Since the concerns were brought to its attention, Apple has raised the age recommendation on the app’s page to over-17s
  • “The way they are addressing weight is inappropriate and scary. It’s not a healthy body image and it’s irresponsible,” said Gemma Oaten, manager of eating disorder charity Seed. She called for the app to be banned

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