“Private spaces are not always inherently good for children,” was something a friend of mine said to me a few years back. 

I had no idea at the time just how prescient this statement was. Today we acknowledge online privacy is absolutely essential in our everyday lives, but without nuance it could increase harm for child victims of online sexual abuse. As more platforms move towards fully private environments, how do we ensure we can still protect children in these spaces?

In sharing this talk, I’m asking you, the viewers — the everyday users of technology — to think critically when it comes to the online privacy debate, and to ask tough questions about your own assumptions. 

That’s because we need you. We need you to demand that we collectively — as advocates, as users of technology, as parents, and as a community defending children from these crimes — commit to doing the hard work to strike a balance where we can have more user privacy online while also protecting children. 

When we say privacy for all, we include the children whose abuse is documented and distributed online. We must do everything in our power to ensure the worst moments of their lives do not go viral online and to disrupt the cycle of trauma for survivors.

My hope is that we can begin to reframe the conversation around privacy, and ensure that child victims of sexual abuse are considered as we move forward in building a better internet for all. Because I believe in a world where we can have more user privacy and continue to defend children from online abuse. 

We just have to build it. 

–Sarah Gardner, VP of External Affairs



We believe in privacy for all, including children who should be kept safe online.

 Join Us. Subscribe to Thorn updates.