The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) will join many organizations across the globe on Feb. 6 to celebrate Safer Internet Day 2024, empowering children to make safer decisions and educating them about the dangers of sextortion with the release of two new videos.
Each year, NCMEC receives a staggering number of reports to our CyberTipline. In 2023 alone, the CyberTipline received 36.2 million reports, containing more than 105 million files.
Of those reports, 186,819 were of online enticement, the category that includes sextortion. This is up from 80,524 reports in 2022 and 44,155 reports in 2021.
Sextortion is a form of child sexual exploitation where children are blackmailed by a person who has obtained nude or sexual images of them. Oftentimes the victim is threatened that their images will be released publicly unless they provide additional sexual content, sexual activity or money.
“The drastic rise in sextortion reports is alarming,” said Stacy Garrett, vice president of Content & Community Engagement at NCMEC. “At the National Center, we hope that Safer Internet Day will serve as a crucial reminder of the collective responsibility we all have to strive for a safer online environment for our children. It’s critical that we teach our children how to stay safe online, but also what to do if something goes wrong. NCMEC is here to help.”
As part of our stand against sextortion, NCMEC is releasing two new educational videos that showcase different aspects of sextortion.
You can watch both brand-new videos here!
If a child in your life is a victim of sextortion or has unwanted imagery online, NCMEC’s groundbreaking platform, Take It Down, can help them take back control.
Take It Down is a free service that allows users from around the world to submit a report that can help remove online nude, partially nude, or sexually explicit photos and videos depicting a child under 18 years old. Since its inception in December 2022, Take It Down has received more than 50,000 reports.
The program works by assigning a unique digital fingerprint, called a hash value, to your image or video. Participating platforms can use hash values to detect these images or videos on their unencrypted services and apps and remove this content. Since the launch, Take It Down has created more than 90,000 hashes.
As we celebrate Safer Internet Day, it’s important to remind the kids in our lives of the collective responsibility they all share in securing a safer online environment for themselves and others.
So next time they click, swipe, or search, remind them to do their part in creating a better internet.
And if they need us, NCMEC is always here to help them Take It Down.
Happy Safer Internet Day!
For more information and resources regarding sextortion, visit our website here: https://www.missingkids.org/sextortion.
For more information on Take It Down and participating platforms, visit our website here: https://takeitdown.ncmec.org.