Takedown procedures and reporting


  • Procedures to enable the timely decommissioning/removal of child sexual abuse material when a company confirms its presence on its service. Reports can be made by customers, members of the public, law enforcement agencies or hotline organisations.
  • When child sexual abuse material is hosted in another country but has not been removed at source, Internet Service Providers use available technical means such as blocking or filtering to prevent access to that material.
  • Industry puts in place processes and allocates resources to enable the timely identification and reporting to authorities of online child sexual exploitation and abuse.
  • The companies’ staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to respond effectively to incidents of online child sexual exploitation and abuse.
  • A health and wellness programme is in place to help protect all staff who come into contact with child sexual exploitation material.
  • Statutory protections are in place to allow industry to fully and effectively report online child sexual exploitation and abuse, including the transmission of content, to law enforcement or another designated agency.

Why is this needed?

  • Allowing child sexual abuse material to remain readily discoverable online will increase offending rates, as it will give others further opportunity to view the illegal material and each and every viewing is a violation of the law.
  • The child in the image is re-victimised every time the material is viewed.
  • Removing the material by the operators of online services reduces the volume of child sexual abuse material on the Internet.
  • Blocking access to child sexual abuse material hosted out of country will disrupt offenders’ access to it, but it is not a long-term solution for the eradication of the material from the Internet. It therefore must be combined with the removal at source. Such an approach ensures that every country is taking responsibility for the removal of this content when it is found to be hosted in-country.
  • Statutory regulation is one but not the only mechanism to tackle child sexual abuse material on the Internet. Self-regulation can achieve similar outcomes when ISPs and others in industry cooperate to remove child sexual abuse material from their services and prevent its further dissemination.
  • Child sexual exploitation and abuse remains one of the most under-reported crimes with the vast majority taking place behind closed doors. The Internet offers a rare window into these crimes. In addition to protecting their own customers and services, actions by industry can support the identification of victims and offenders who otherwise could potentially never be identified.
  • Industry reporting enables companies to provide safe platforms and services for children and young people and helps to deter offenders.
  • Robust programs and procedures for the handling of illegal material help to protect staff from unnecessary exposure that could impact upon their health and wellness; and decrease the revictimization of the victim(s) depicted in the material.
  • Robust programs and procedures provide companies with the ability to prioritise and escalate cases as appropriate and securely handle illegal material.
  • Statutory protections provide companies with the authority and confidence to process this material.

Good practice

  • A set of internationally agreed best practices from INHOPE should be followed to ensure robust processes are in place for the timely removal of content or to block access to child sexual abuse material.
  • A robust IT infrastructure must be in place to enable the secure receipt of information by industry providers. Where possible, the processes should be automated to reduce the number of individuals exposed to the material.
  • Sufficient resources should be allocated to ensure an efficient and effective response to cases of online child sexual exploitation and abuse.
  • All technology company staff that could be in a position to come into contact with incidents of child sexual exploitation and abuse should agree to participate in this work voluntarily; have the required knowledge and skills; and be appropriately vetted, trained and supported.