We are Thorn.

The nimbleness of a startup, with the mission and values of a nonprofit.

Thorn was born in 2012. Our co-founders Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore had learned about the issue of child sex trafficking from a documentary highlighting what was happening to children in Cambodia. They describe it as this moment where you learn something about the world that you can’t un-know. As they started learning more, they realized that it is just as prolific of a problem here in the United States as it is overseas.

Thorn CEO Julie Cordua joined soon after to begin to dig further into the issue of child sex trafficking. There was a common theme that emerged from those working in the field — technology was playing a role in extending the crime. However, technology had yet to play a significant part in its solution. Our team started out in this space focused on investing in the innovation phase of potential tech-led approaches to ending online child sexual abuse. Within the first two years, we realized that we needed to shift our model for scalable long-term change.

Survivors, issue experts, the tech community, and law enforcement join Thorn co-founders Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore to discuss the issue in-depth.
Thorn Co-Founder Ashton Kutcher testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 15, 2017.

In 2014, after our team prototyped a product to aid in identifying child sex trafficking victims who were sold online, we made the decision to develop the product itself and provide it free to law enforcement. This approach broke open the new model for us — one that moved beyond innovation to include productization and rapid scale, bypassing existing bureaucratic structures that often hamper access, data sharing, and collaboration.

We now house the first engineering and data science team focused solely on developing new technologies to combat online child sexual abuse. We bring together a team with deep technical knowledge and subject matter expertise to innovate and deploy new technology solutions at a much faster rate. We are able to quickly assess whether new technologies can be repurposed to protect children from sexual exploitation through one of our three strategic pillars: 1) accelerating victim identification 2) equipping platforms, and 3) empowering the public.

Thorn Co-Founder Ashton Kutcher testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 15, 2017.

who we are

Kids deserve to have the best and brightest minds defending them.

We are a small, but mighty team.

Thorn is a full-time team of nearly 40 staff and contractors, working from 12 different states to unleash the power of technology on behalf of vulnerable children.

meet the staff

8,345

officers in all 50 states and Canada leveraging Spotlight to assist in their investigations.

70+

partners from nonprofits to tech companies collaborating to attack this issue from all sides.

350+

members of the tech community volunteering their time and skills to support our mission.

2,000+

donors big and small investing in our mission and supporting our work every step of the way.

board of directors

ernie allen

Child Protection Advisor

suzanne bell

Partner, Covington & Burling

ray chambers

United Nations Advocate and Special Envoy

ashton kutcher

Co-founder

joe lonsdale

Founding Partner at 8VC and Co-Founder of Palantir

demi moore

Co-founder

jim pitkow

Chair of the Thorn Technology Task Force

padmasree warrior

CEO, Chief Development Officer and Board of Directors of NextEV, U.S

Build a world you believe in.

In a single generation, tech innovators have changed the world — and we’re helping them do it again. Our community is spreading the message that we can do better, we can do more, we can stand up and build a world we believe in. A world where every child is safe, curious, and happy.

commit to defend happiness