As we look ahead to 2023, I’m taking a moment to pause and reflect on the work Thorn is doing to create a different – a better – future for our children.
Each of us has our reason for sticking with this work – something we can always come back to when things get hard. For me, that’s our shared vision of a world where every child can simply be a kid. Where they can live connected lives without being sexually exploited or re-victimized.
This year, we were tested time and time again by the many ways technology can be used to exploit children – from grooming to sextortion to sharing nudes. As the many facets of this issue continue to grow in the public discourse, we are continually reminded of the importance of our shared vision, and are even more committed to building solutions to defend children from sexual abuse. Here are some of the key themes I’m thinking about as we enter 2023:
1. All platforms should be detecting, removing, and reporting child sexual abuse material.
Today’s internet was not designed with child safety in mind, and child sexual abuse material (CSAM) has proliferated across the open web.
With our tool Safer, we have identified over one million CSAM files on our 40+ customer platforms to date. By detecting CSAM at scale, our customers contribute to keeping children safe online and provide necessary intelligence to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that can have a life-saving impact and lead to the rescue of child victims.
We must continue this momentum. Detecting CSAM needs to become a normal part of every technology company’s trust and safety practices.
2. Both parents and kids need better resources to stay safe and savvy online.
By equipping both youth and caregivers with digital safety resources, we increase the likelihood of preventing abuse.
With Thorn For Parents, we’re equipping parents with age-appropriate knowledge, tools, and tips to have judgment-free conversations with their kids. We look forward to empowering even more parents and caregivers with tools in the coming year.
NoFiltr, our youth-focused program, sparks conversations among young people and brings digital safety issues to light while providing prevention and support messaging. And, through our new Youth Innovation Council, we’re partnering with youth who advise us and work with us to build the internet they deserve. I can’t wait to see what these brilliant, motivated young minds do to make change next year.
3. Donors make our work possible.
We have an incredible, dedicated community of donors. My inbox has been filled with messages of heartwarming support from all over the country.
Your generosity makes our work possible for years to come.
Together, we are changing the way the world responds to child sexual abuse. I look forward to the future of Thorn’s work with humble gratitude for everyone who has contributed to this mission.
Thank you for committing to building a world where every child can be safe, curious, and happy.