Chris Elmore MP has announced his intention to hold an inquiry into the alarming trend of young children being groomed online to take explicit images of themselves.
New research from the Internet Watch Foundation highlighted alarming numbers of webpages showing sexual abuse of children. As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Media, Chris will be looking into this issue as a matter of urgency.
The Ogmore MP urged the UK Government to take action to protect vulnerable children and to ensure that social media companies finally take responsibility for content that is posted on their platforms.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“The sheer number of reported images is as shocking as it is sickening. There were over 130,000 reports of images or videos that showed child sexual abuse last year which is an increase of 26 per cent on the previous year.
“It is clear that this is a largely hidden problem that needs addressing now for the sake of child protection. The UK Government simply must take action. Social media companies and huge corporations that are making millions off the backs of their users and they must take some responsibility and play their role in protecting them.”
The Internet Watch Foundation processed more than a quarter of a million reports in 2019. Startlingly, they have since highlighted that these images were found on the ‘clear web’ – the parts of the internet that are open to us all: where we do our shopping, where we look for information, where we chat with friends.
“I will continue to work as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Media and with charities like the Internet Watch Foundation to raise awareness of the dangers to children and to make the government wake up to what is happening on their watch.”