2022 Impact at a Glance
child sexual abuse material files found
victims of child sexual abuse identified
conversations with youth about preventing online sexual abuse
parents signed up for conversation tips
Ten years ago, Thorn was started to revolutionize the fight against child sexual abuse using technology. We knew that technology capabilities existed that could help find victims or defend children from sexual abuse — but they weren’t being built or deployed at scale. Smarter tools were needed.
Our 2022 impact shows that, with your generosity and support, we’re doing just that — and building a world we all believe in: one where every child can simply be a kid.
Last year, we ramped up our work with tech companies to implement our cutting-edge tools and technologies, like Safer, which enable them to detect, review, and report child sexual abuse material (CSAM) at a greater scale.
At the same time, we began empowering youth and parents to build skills and resilience, helping them prevent harmful sexual encounters before they happen. And we worked with law enforcement, accelerating their work to identify and remove as many children from harm as possible.
As we enter our second decade of service to the children at the forefront of our mission, two things are immediately clear: our impact is tangible, and we have our generous community of supporters to thank for our progress. Together, we’re truly changing the world for the better.
There is much more work to be done, and we’re grateful to have you by our side for it all. Without you, we couldn’t have made the incredible progress you’ll read about below — thank you.
When documentation of a child’s abuse is shared online, it often lives on for years, spreading across the platforms we use every day.
Every time a piece of CSAM is traded or consumed, it continues the cycle of trauma for victims and survivors. In fact, in a survey of adult survivors (opens in new tab) of CSAM, 20% reported being identified by a person who had seen their child sexual abuse imagery.
That’s where Safer, Thorn’s all-in-one solution that enables tech companies to detect, review, and report CSAM at scale, comes in.
- CSAM files found: 824,466
- Customer reports sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC): 60,829
- CSAM files found: 1,223,534
- Customer reports sent to NCMEC: 95,322
While we’ve made incredible progress, we need every platform with an upload button to implement proactive CSAM detection measures, in order to turn the tide on the viral spread of this abusive content.
We are equipping 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, or “nude selfies.”
Youth & Communities
For young people, the internet and social media are integral parts of daily life — including their natural exploration of identity, sexuality and relationships.
As a result, sharing nude selfies has become increasingly common among youth today. In fact, approximately 1 in 6 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 in the communities that support and protect them.
Last 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 in an open, honest, and nonjudgmental way.
In 2022 we proudly launched the NoFiltr Youth Innovation Council — a group of diverse, dynamic, and motivated young people ages 13-17 who help inform Thorn’s work and provide a curriculum-like framework for innovation, creativity, and design. The Council empowers youth to use their skills to speak to their peers about the importance of online safety in a digital landscape.
Nofiltr's 2022 Impact:
- 239 million impressions*
- 55,000 conversations* about the issue via our channels
- 357,000 followers across social media
- 499 million impressions
- 120,000 conversations about the issue via our channels
- 657,000 followers across social media
Parents are rightfully concerned about their kids navigating online spaces safely — but it’s an awkward conversation, and they’re often unsure where to start.
Thorn for Parents
In 2022, we continued to support parents with resources, conversation tips, and motivation through Thorn for Parents, our digital resource guide. Your support helps us give parents the knowledge, tools, and tips to have these conversations with their kids earlier, more often, and without judgment. The ripple effect of this behavior change can literally save lives.
- 4.4 million impressions
- 100,000 visitors
- 59,000 parents engaging with content
- 5,554 parents signed up for conversation tips
- 80.4 million impressions
- 600,000 visitors
- 492,000 parents and caregivers engaging with content
- 6,156 parents signed up for conversation tips
*Impressions are the number of times someone comes across a piece of content online. Conversations are an engagement that has a higher threshold of participation (i.e. dialogue between accounts).
We’re defending children on platforms, removing their imagery from circulation, and equipping them and their communities of support to build stronger safety nets and prevent harmful online experiences.
At the same time, we know that there are kids out there who are already in harmful situations — and, in some cases, being actively abused.
That’s why we work with law enforcement to reduce the amount of time it takes to identify and safeguard victims, removing them from harm.
Every day, law enforcement agents around the world are presented with an overwhelming volume of evidence of child sexual abuse in real time. These are children who need to be rescued right now.
Unfortunately, the problem is so massive and complicated that most agents don’t have nearly enough resources or tools to address it at scale.
Our product Spotlight is designed to help supercharge investigations, accelerating their ability to identify victims and remove them from harm as quickly as possible.
- Children identified: 1,895
- Investigation time reduced: 53%
- Total children identified: 27,064
- Agencies using Thorn tools: 3,206
Thorn’s tools and programs fight child sexual abuse throughout the child protection ecosystem.
Because of our work:
- CSAM is removed from the internet to end the cycle of trauma.
- Youth behaviors and attitudes around the harmful situations they so often experience online are shifting — and resilience is rising, with more young people feeling empowered to take control of their digital lives.
- Critical conversations are happening between youth and parents that prevent online harm.
- Child victims are identified and removed from harm and their abusers held accountable.
Research & Policy
Our programs and tools are always informed by our cutting-edge research(opens in new tab), centered on the voices of youth.
This year, we conducted research to understand how youth experience topics like online grooming, the role of parents in keeping kids safe online, youth attitudes around self-generated child sexual abuse material (SG-CSAM, or “nude selfie” sharing), and how we should help youth respond to and report online threats.
Our Key Moments:
- Four groundbreaking reports released
- Press coverage in Bloomberg, Yahoo! News, and the Associated Press
Thorn is engaging in critical and productive conversations with lawmakers both in the US and overseas — primarily in the EU — to ensure they understand the nuances of the issue and why taking action is important in this rapidly-changing technological environment.
This year, the EU took a major step toward defending children online by releasing a special policy proposal designed to prevent and combat child sexual abuse. This groundbreaking piece of legislation has the potential to better protect children worldwide. And Thorn has been — and continues to be — on the ground in the EU to help this legislation advance in a way that ensures maximum protection for children.
Our Key Moments:
- Meetings with 23 European lawmakers
- Launch of EU CSAM Proposal
- Meetings with 39 U.S. Congressional offices
Defending children is a marathon, not a sprint.
Sometimes, this work is literally a marathon — this fall, Thorn celebrated our 10-year anniversary by running 26.2 miles at the NYC Marathon! Our CEO Julie Cordua joined co-founder Ashton Kutcher and more than 100 #TeamThorn supporters who ran to garner support and awareness for our mission: building technology to defend children from sexual abuse. More than 4,000 generous donors supported #TeamThorn by making special gifts to support Thorn’s work.
To help Ashton get to the finish at his first-ever marathon, he partnered with Peloton for a special training series leading up to the race. Each episode of “Our Future Selves” featured Ashton, a Peloton instructor, and a special celebrity changemaker, each sharing motivation and exploring their personal reasons why they do the difficult and life-changing work they do.
This work is possible only because of our generous donors: a community of people who believe so strongly in our work that they’ve committed to supporting it financially. Our supporters mean the world to us, as they allow us to carry out our mission and continue to build a better world for children.
We need your help to defend children from sexual abuse. When you make a gift to Thorn, you play a critical role in our ability to make the world safer for kids.
Together, we can be an unstoppable force for good.
As long as child sexual abuse material spreads on the internet, as long as new forms of technology emerge, as long as there are children who need our help, Thorn will be there. And we’re grateful you’ll be there with us.
Until every child can be a kid.
Thank you for your support in 2022 and 2023, 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.
- Victim Identification – 33% ($8.8M)
- Industry – 22% ($5.9M)
- Youth and Communities – 14% ($3.6M)
- Policy – 6% ($1.7M)
- Research – 3% ($777K)
- Operations and fundraising – 22% ($6M)