Google funds campaign against child porn online

Google announced via blog post a new technology-driven initiative against child pornography. The company is launching a $2 million Child Protection Technology Fund “to encourage the development of ever more effective tools” to fight online child pornography.

Since 2008, Google has used so-called “hashing” technology to tag known child sexual abuse images with a unique ID. The company’s vast web of crawling computers can weed out the images without human eyes. A similar technology that will allow you to search for online duplicates of any image by dragging it into the search bar in Google Image Search. More recently, the company has worked to create a “cross-industry database” of these image fingerprints so that other parts of the Web can remove them as well.

Conscience or expedience?

We will assume that despite being an amoral public global corporation, Google is still run by humans and has a genuine interest in fighting a dogged part of online culture that all but the most rabid web libertarians abhor.

However, the more recent investments may have to do with the British government’s proactive moves to filter harmful Web content in the wake of a pair of sensational crimes where the perpetrators are said to have accessed child abuse images before the crimes.

Whatever the reason, it's good to see of the major Web players coordinating to fight this disgusting online phenomenon.

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