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    UK hosted child sexual abuse imagery

    UK hosting volume

    The UK hosts a small volume of online child sexual abuse content.

    • In 2022, 640 URLs displaying child sexual abuse imagery were hosted in the UK, an increase of 68% from 381 URLs in 2021.
    • The UK hosted 0.25% of all child sexual abuse URLs which IWF identified in 2022.
    • 433 reports related to multiple URLs identified on the same day and attributed to one host.

    In 465 cases, the criminal content had already been removed by the time we received authorisation from the police to instigate its removal or it had moved hosting country already, leaving us with 175 URLs to take action on.

    32 takedown notices relating to the 175 URLs were sent to UK hosting companies (we might send one notice for several webpages).

    UK Child sexual abuse content removal in minutes

    We have to act quickly. The longer an image stays live, the more opportunity there is for offenders to view and share it, and more harm is caused to the victims.

    In partnership with the online industry, we push to secure the rapid removal of this content. The ‘takedown’ clock ticks from the moment we issue a takedown notice to the hosting company, to the time the content is removed.

    Fastest removal: 3 minutes

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    • 16 companies’ services in the UK were abused to host child sexual abuse images or videos during 2022.

    We issue takedown notices to UK companies, whether they’re in IWF membership or not.

    • All companies who were abused were not IWF Members.

    What can we do about this?

    We use a minimum of three pieces of technology to trace the hosting location, then issue a takedown notice to the company which is hosting the material. Law enforcement are consulted during this process and evidence is retained for investigation.

    Although the URL numbers are relatively small compared to the global problem, it’s important that the UK remains a hostile place for criminals to host this content.