Imagine an internet where child victims of sexual abuse are quickly identified and removed from harm, CSAM is extremely difficult to trade or consume online, and parents and kids are confidently navigating digital spaces.
It’s an internet where we’re all connected through shared curiosity and every child has the opportunity to explore and learn safely.
This is the world you’re helping to build with Thorn, and in 2021 we made incredible progress toward this shared vision. Yet there is not a straight line from where we are today to the internet that every child deserves.
To better envision where we are and where we must go, let’s look at how child sexual abuse material (CSAM) can move through the internet and our communities, and where we’re intervening alongside critical partners to keep kids safe.
When evidence of a child’s sexual abuse hits the internet, our goal is to reduce the amount of time it takes for law enforcement to identify and safeguard that victim.
Spotlight accelerates law enforcement’s ability to identify victims of child sex trafficking.
Children identified: 3,977
Investigation time reduced: 61%
Total children identified: 24,366
Agencies using Thorn tools: 2,700+
Spotlight provides a hugely invaluable resource to law enforcement. It is like having an invisible partner who works around the clock, all day, every day. I simply cannot do my job without it.
Even after a child has been identified and removed from harm, the documentation of their abuse can live on and spread in the form of images, videos, and other types of CSAM. This is one way CSAM begins to circulate online.
Every time a piece of CSAM is traded or consumed, it continues the cycle of trauma for victims and survivors, disseminated on platforms we use every day. In fact, in a survey of adult survivors of CSAM, 20% reported being identified by a person who had seen their child sexual abuse imagery.
That’s where Safer comes in, the first holistic solution for tech companies to detect, remove, and report CSAM at scale.
CSAM files found: ~260,000
Files protected: 11.1 billion
Customer reports sent to NCMEC: ~32,600
CSAM files found: 402,000
Files protected: 16 billion
Hashes of known CSAM: 18.7 million
While we’ve made incredible progress, we need every platform with an upload button implementing proactive CSAM detection measures to turn the tide on the viral spread of this content.
We've empowered law enforcement to find victims faster and equipped the tech industry to stop the viral spread of CSAM. Now, let’s look at how Thorn is preventing the fastest growing type of CSAM: self-generated.
Youth & Communities
The internet and social media are integral parts of daily life as a pre-teen—including their natural exploration of identity, sexuality and relationships.
As a result, sharing nude selfies has become increasingly common amongst youth today. In fact, 40% of teens think it’s normal for people their age to share nudes with each other.
But trust is easily broken and what was intended to be a private image can quickly become a viral image circulated online, resulting in the victim in the image being ostracized, isolated, and shamed. We’re working to prevent this harm from happening by building resilience in youth and the communities that support and protect them.
This year NoFiltr, our youth brand, reached tens of millions of youth directly with prevention and support messaging. By focusing on the issues youth face online every single day, we’re sparking conversations that bring these issues into the light.
NOFILTR'S 2021 Impact:
conversations about the issue via our channels
followers across social media
Parents are rightfully concerned about their kids navigating online spaces safely—but it’s an awkward conversation and they’re not sure where to start.
In 2021, we launched Thorn for Parents, a digital resource to guide parents with knowledge, tools, and tips. We’re empowering parents to have these conversations with their kids earlier, more often, and without judgement.
Thorn for Parents'S 2021 Impact:
parents and caregivers engaging with content
Thorn’s tools and programs fight child sexual abuse throughout the entire online ecosystem.
Because of our work:
Abused children are identified and removed from harm and their abusers are held accountable.
Viral child sexual abuse material is removed from the internet to end the cycle of trauma.
Behaviors and attitudes around the creation and resharing of self-generated CSAM are changing.
Kids have increased awareness of and can better recognize online grooming.
Critical conversations are happening between youth and parents that prevent online harm.
This work is only possible because of our generous donors.
Over 1,200 of you have committed to monthly gifts
More than 600 new Builders committed to defend children
This year we had a record number of supporters fund this work. We are grateful to the 3,800 people who want to help build a safer world for children.
Thank you to our Builders and longtime donors who ensure we have sustainable, predictable funding to meet our ambitious goals.
As long as CSAM spreads on the internet, as long as there are children who need our help, as long as new forms of technology emerge, we will be there.
Until every child can be a kid.
Thank you for your support in 2021, 2022, and for the years to come.
Stay up to date on the issue and all things Thorn.
Your support enables us to bring the best and brightest minds to address this complex and urgent issue.
- 34% ($7.6M)
- 20% ($4.4M)
Youth & Communities
- 16% ($3.6M)
- 6% ($1.3M)
- 4% ($800K)
Operations & fundraising
- 20% ($4.5M)
Redesigning the future
The internet wasn’t designed with child safety in mind, but we’re working to ensure it will be from now on. Here are some additional areas of impact that create a foundation for defending children from sexual abuse online.
Our programs and tools are always informed by our cutting-edge research, centered on the voices of youth.
Our key moments:
Two groundbreaking reports released
Press coverage in outlets such as The Platformer, Bloomberg, and Yahoo! News
The importance of our policy work is coming into sharp focus as the issue of online child sexual exploitation becomes a focal point of legislation in the European Union (EU) and beyond. We’ve made significant investments in our policy team and feel well-equipped for the road ahead.