Internet Watch Foundation Finds 1,058% Increase in Child Sexual Imagery After Pandemic

The pandemic was quite an unprecedented event for modern society, and the lockdowns that ensued were considered by many to be a necessary evil. In spite of the fact that this is the case, the lockdowns had several unintended consequences, many of which have still not yet fully come to light.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the Internet Watch Foundation recently revealed one of the most shocking events that occurred in the aftermath of the lockdowns: an increase in sexual imagery depicting children. The report showed that webpages containing this type of imagery went from 5,000 in number prior to lockdowns all the way to 63,000, which indicates a massive 1,058% increase.

One thing to mention about these findings is that a bulk of the new CSA material appears to be self generated. This essentially refers to situations where children perform sexual acts on camera due to coercion from a groomer or predator.

With children being locked up in their homes and the internet being one of the only ways they had to communicate with the outside world, such events became all the more likely. What’s more, parents who were working from home often did not have enough time to monitor and supervise their children while they were online, which made them more likely to come across predators than might have been the case otherwise.

A number of these videos involve children performing sexual acts in their bathrooms or bedrooms, and the sounds of a busy household can often be heard in the background. The children are not even aware that they are being recorded, instead assuming that they are live streaming with an online friend. This CSA material is then sold to pedophiles on the dark web.

The UK has been delaying legislation called the Online Safety Bill, and this research shows that they need to act quickly. The lockdown only exacerbated an issue that had already existed, and unless something is done children will continue to be at risk of getting groomed by predators.

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