Skip to main content

CyberTipline 2022 Report

Overview Reports Files Removal Notices Global Response Other Information

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CyberTipline offers the public and online electronic service providers an easy way to quickly report suspected incidents of sexual exploitation of children online.

Since the CyberTipline’s inception in 1998, we have received millions of reports and reviewed hundreds of millions of images and videos of suspected child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in an effort to locate exploited children and help law enforcement rescue them from abusive situations. We work to disrupt the trading of child sexual abuse images and videos online and help survivors begin to rebuild their lives.


 In 2022, NCMEC’s CyberTipline received more than 32 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation.

CyberTipline Reports

The CyberTipline receives reports about multiple forms of online child sexual exploitation.  Reports regarding CSAM, legally referred to as child pornography, make up the largest reporting category. Over 99.5% of the reports received by the CyberTipline in 2022 regarded incidents of suspected CSAM. 

Over 99.5% of the reports received by the CyberTipline in 2022 regarded incidents of suspected CSAM.
Number of reports by reporter incident type
Categorization of CyberTipline Reports 2020 Reports 2021 Reports 2022 Reports
Child Pornography (possession, manufacture, distribution) 21,669,264 29,309,106 31,901,234
Misleading Words or Digital Images on the Internet 8,689 5,825 7,517
Online Enticement of Children for Sexual Acts 37,872 44,155 80,524
Child Sex Trafficking 15,879 16,032 18,336
Unsolicited Obscene Material Sent to a Child 3,547 5,177 35,624
Misleading Domain Name 3,109 3,304 1,948
Child Sexual Molestation 11,770 12,458 12,906
Child Sex Tourism 955 1,624 940
Grand Total 21,751,085 29,397,681 32,059,029

In 2022, the category of Online enticement saw an increase of  82% from 2021 to 2022.  One of the contributing factors in that growth was an alarming spike in reports of financial sextortion, a crime in which kids are targeted to share explicit photos and then threatened by offenders that they will share the images with the child’s friends, family, or others if they don’t give the blackmailer money.  Several of these cases have had tragic outcomes with panicked children taking their own lives.

In previous years, sextortion offenders were more likely to target young girls with a goal of obtaining additional explicit images. In 2022, we saw a large increase in boys being blackmailed for money instead of images. NCMEC analysts have analyzed reports of financial sextortion to provide insights about the victims and offenders that can be used to create prevention resources and support law enforcement efforts to respond to these crimes.

Actionable & Informational Reports

NCMEC makes CyberTipline reports, including our additional analysis, available to law enforcement around the world.  These efforts help law enforcement prioritize the most urgent cases allowing them to take fast action when a child is most at risk. In 2022, NCMEC staff escalated over 49,000 reports to law enforcement as the reported incident was urgent in nature or there was information that a child was in imminent danger.

NCMEC categorizes reports as “actionable” or “informational” based on the information that the reporting person or tech company includes in the report. An actionable report contains sufficient information, including imagery, user details, or a possible location for law enforcement referral. An informational report contains insufficient information or imagery that is considered viral and has been reported many times. These categories help prioritize the reports for law enforcement review.

In 2022, NCMEC escalated more than 49,000 urgent reports to law enforcement that involved a child in imminent danger.

NCMEC designated over 15.8M reports from the tech industry as “actionable” when referring them to law enforcement in 2022, while nearly 50% of reports made to the CyberTipline were designated as “informational”.

Electronic Service Provider Reports 

The CyberTipline receives reports from the public and online electronic service providers (ESPs). To date over 1,500 ESPs are registered to make reports, and 17% of these are non U.S. based companies who voluntarily choose to report to the CyberTipline. In 2022, only 236 companies actually submitted CyberTipline reports.

In 2022, over 31.8 million of the more than  32 million reports were from ESPs.

2022 CyberTipline Reports by Electronic Service Providers (ESP)
Number of reports by source

U.S. based ESPs are legally required to report instances of sexual exploitation or “apparent child pornography” to the CyberTipline when they become aware of them, but there are no legal requirements regarding proactive efforts to detect exploitation or what information an ESP must include in a CyberTipline report. As a result, there are significant disparities in the volume, content, and actionability of reports that ESPs submit. 

For example, one company’s reporting numbers may be higher because they implement robust efforts to identify and remove abusive content from their platforms.

In some instances, companies make reports that have no actionable information that can be used to support law enforcement efforts to safeguard children. NCMEC notifies companies when their reports consistently lack substantive information.

In 2022, 4% of CyberTipline reports submitted by the tech industry contained such little information that it was not possible for NCMEC to determine where the offense occurred or the appropriate law enforcement agency to receive the report. For the companies listed below, more than 90% of their reports lacked adequate, actionable information.

7web Haschek Solutions Spotify USA Inc.
9Cloud / luscious HER App
Squarespace, Inc.
Amazon Photos Internet Archive
SynaptiCAD, Inc
BigBang Media, LLC
Coinbase Lightspeed Systems
CounterSocial Megapersonals
Depop Ltd MG Freesites Ltd (dba Youporn)
Wickr Inc. New Meta AB
Forward Handle, LLC Padlet
Yelp Inc.
TMTG, Corp.
GF Networks Ltd
GitHub Securly YikYak

Millions of CyberTipline reports every year, mostly submitted by a handful of companies is evidence that what we know about the extent of child sexual exploitation online is just the tip of the iceberg. Most tech companies around the world choose not to proactively detect and report child sexual exploitation on their networks. What the CyberTipline data proves is the problem continues to grow with limited intervention by the global tech community.

In 2022, CyberTipline reports provided by ESPs included 49.4 million image files, of which 18.8 million were unique, and 37.7 million videos, of which 8.3 million were unique.

CyberTipline Files

Reports made to the CyberTipline by ESPs can include images, videos and other files related to the child sexual exploitation incident being reported.

Unfortunately, child sexual abuse images and videos are often circulated and shared online repeatedly. CSAM of a single child victim can be circulated for years after the initial abuse occurred. One of the CyberTipline’s critical functions is to identify unique images through the work of analysts and the use of technology.

These reports to the CyberTipline included 85 million files with 39,939,298 images, 44,856,209 videos, and 196,228 other files.

File Review & Triage

NCMEC analysts review suspected CSAM submitted by companies and label images and videos with information about the type of content, the estimated age range of the people seen and other details that help law enforcement prioritze the reports for review. For example, tags can indicate if the imagery contains elements like violence of beastiality or if there are infants or toddlers.  

Utilizing robust hash matching technology, NCMEC’s systems then automatically recognize future versions of those images and videos reported to the CyberTipline.  The automated hash matching process reduces the amount of duplicative child sexual abuse imagery that NCMEC staff view and focuses analyst attention on newer imagery. This process helps ensure the most urgent CyberTipline reports where a child may be suffering ongoing abuse, get immediate attention.  

NCMEC successfully tagged over 13.4 million files in 2022.

Hash Sharing

Hash values are unique digital fingerprints assigned to pieces of data like images and videos. They are an important tool in the effort to stop the spread of CSAM. When a triple vetted image or video is identified as containing CSAM, NCMEC adds the hash value to a list that is shared with technology companies.

On a voluntary basis, companies can elect to use these lists to detect CSAM on their systems so the abusive content can be reported and removed. In 2022, fewer than 50 companies elected to access the hash lists. 

An added benefit of the hash list is that when NCMEC receives a report about a child sexual abuse image with a known hash value, it can quickly determine if the image has already been reported, and if the child in the image has been identified.

In 2022, NCMEC added 1.1 million hash values to our growing list of over 6.3 million hash values of known child sexual abuse material.

In 2022, NCMEC launched a new service called Take It Down, that uses hash values to help stop the online spread of nude, partially nude, or sexually explicit images and videos taken before people were 18 years old. It allows users to scan the images and videos on their device and submit a hash value that’s added to a new hash list maintained by NCMEC and shared with participating platforms. To learn more about this service and see the participating platforms, visit

In 2022, the average response time following a NCMEC notification for image or videos was less than 2 days.

Removal Notices & Tracking

In some cases, the reports about imagery of child sexual exploitation online are made by the child victims themselves or their guardians/caregivers. For those reports, the CyberTipline can be a lifeline for families by notifying the platforms to review and remove the explicit images of the child.

NCMEC staff review the reported imagery and if it falls in one of the three categories below, a notification is made to the ESP where the image or video has been shared:

Child sexual abuse material which may violate federal law, a company’s Terms of Service, or their published Community Guidelines or Standards.
Exploitative content which depicts identified child victims, but the images themselves may not reach the legal threshold of child sexual abuse material. Examples are images or videos that contain nudity, non-pornographic content associated with child sexual abuse material or otherwise sexually suggestive content of identified child victims.
Predatory Text
Text related to sexually predatory comments or personal information about an identified child victim or CSAM survivor. Personal information identifying the child in the image/video may pose safety concerns for the child or survivor.

Based on how a company or their platform operates, imagery may be removed or users blocked or banned from their services in response to a notification. Once a notice has been sent, NCMEC staff manually track the status and will generate additional notices until the content is addressed.

2022 Notifications Sent by NCMEC Per ESP

Of the 32 million reports that the CyberTipline received in 2022, 90% resolved to locations outside the U.S. 

Global Response

The federal statute 18 USC 2258A requires U.S. companies to report to the CyberTipline if they become aware of suspected CSAM on their platforms and servers. Because these companies have users worldwide and those incidents are reported to NCMEC, by extension the CyberTipline serves as a global clearinghouse. In fact, most CyberTipline reports, 90% in 2022, involve the upload of child sexual abuse material by users outside of the U.S.

Most CyberTipline reports of CSAM include indicators of where the files were uploaded. It is important to note that country-specific numbers may be impacted by the use of proxies and anonymizers. In addition, each country applies its own national laws when assessing the reported content. These numbers are not indicative of the level of child sexual abuse in a particular country.

2022 CyberTipline Reports by Country

Because of the global nature of these crimes, NCMEC has forged partnerships with law enforcement in 150 countries and territories that receive CyberTipline reports, including Interpol and Europol. Interpol also assists in the dissemination of CyberTipline report information to certain countries where NCMEC doesn’t have a direct connection to law enforcement.

NCMEC staff also provide CyberTipline trainings in other countries, mentor NGOs seeking to expand technical and operational capacities within their own hotlines, educate on best practices, and share child safety and prevention material around the world. We collaborate with dozens of global NGOs, including WeProtect; ECPAT; International Justice Mission (IJM), Internet Watch Foundation; the Canadian Centre for Child Protection; UNICEF and many others. NCMEC is also a founding member of INHOPE, a global network of 50 member hotlines across six continents.

Case Management Tool

With 90% of CyberTipline reports resolving internationally, it’s imperative that there is a referral system in place enabling a global response to CyberTipline reports. The NCMEC Case Management Tool (CMT), developed with financial support from OJJDP and Meta, enables NCMEC to securely and quickly share reports with law enforcement around the world.

The CMT allows law enforcement in the U.S. and abroad to receive, triage, prioritize, organize and manage CyberTipline reports. Through robust and customizable data display, dashboards and metrics, law enforcement users can tailor their report queue for more immediate triage and better response. It also helps police agencies refer reports to other law enforcement agencies for a more targeted response. The system helps NCMEC notify law enforcement of high priority reports.

In support of easier adoption and use by international users, the Case Management Tool fields and interface are available in 8 languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Thai) with additional translations planned. Domestically all Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations also have access.

Other Information

For additional information about the CyberTipline, you can read the 2022 DOJ CyberTipline Report. You can also find the data from previous years below.

2022 DOJ CyberTipline Report
2022 CyberTipline Reports by ESP
2022 CyberTipline Reports by Country
2022 Notifications Sent by NCMEC Per ESP
2021 CyberTipline Reports by ESP
2021 CyberTipline Reports by ESP
2022 CyberTipline Reports by Country
2022 Notifications Sent by NCMEC Per ESP
2021 CyberTipline Reports by Country
2021 CyberTipline Reports by Country
2020 CyberTipline Reports by ESP
2020 CyberTipline Reports by Country
2019 CyberTipline Reports by ESP
2019 CyberTipline Reports by Country

If you’re a victim of child sexual exploitation on the internet or are aware of CSAM, sex trafficking or other crimes against children online, please make a report at or call NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).


Every child deserves a safe childhood