Child Focus launched a new campaign against child pornography this Wednesday. The organisation, set up in the aftermath of the Dutroux case, is offering web users a downloadable filter to “identify and eliminate images of sexually-abused children” while they surf the net. This filter is in fact imaginary, since the technology has not been invented yet. “YOU are the filter,” is the message Child Focus is pushing.
As of Wednesday morning, Child Focus has been urging web users to download a filter called “StopChildPorn”. By 5:00 p.m. the website set up for this campaign (www.stopchildporno-filter.be) had already had over 7,000 visitors, a success for the foundation dedicated to missing or sexually-exploited children.
Some 1,600 web users tried to download the filter and received the following message: “Although we would like to, current technologies do not allow us to develop the StopChildPorn filter, because images of children being sexually abused cannot be automatically recognised as child pornography and deleted as such. Fighting child porn does not stop here though: you are the filter!”
The campaign aims to publicise Child Focus’ public forum, www.stopchildporno.be. People can make online accusations, anonymously if they wish, when they find any child pornography online.
The public forum was set up in 2002. There are 1,400 alerts on average every year, according to Child Focus spokesperson Maryse Rolland. Every incident reported is forwarded to the federal police. The association does not investigate but would like to be more involved. “We would like to be involved in the initial screening process. Police staffing has been increased and the force is not as overwhelmed as it was, but we could still save them time,” explains Mrs. Rolland.
A collaborative protocol between Child Focus and police and court authorities is currently being negotiated.