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Internet Watch Foundation Sexual Abuse Survey

 A public opinion survey on behalf of the Internet Watch Foundation.

Date Published: 18 Mar 2013

Categories: Education | Public and communities | Social | Technology & Telecoms | UK


 New study reveals child sexual abuse content (“child pornography”) as top online concern and potentially 1.5m adults have stumbled upon it.

More people in Britain are concerned about websites showing the sexual abuse of children than other types of illegal, illicit or ‘harmful’ internet content. However, more than half of people in Britain currently say that they either wouldn’t know how to report it if they were to encounter it (40%) or would just ignore it (12%).
The ComRes poll conducted among a representative sample of 2058 British adults for the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) shows the vast majority of people in Britain think that child sexual abuse content (“child pornography”)(91%) and computer generated images or cartoons of child sexual abuse (85%) should be removed from the internet. 

83% of people overall say they are ‘concerned’ about child pornography with 74% saying they are ‘very concerned’.
Followed by:

77% are concerned about computer generated images or cartoons of child sexual abuse;
73% are concerned about terrorist websites;
68% are concerned about very extreme/violent pornography;
62% are concerned about hate websites (racist or homophobic);
61% are concerned about suicide websites;
51% are concerned about eating disorder websites.
4% of men – the equivalent of one million men, and 2% of women, the equivalent of 500,000, report actually having come into contact with it, or have stumbled across it. 
Four times the proportion of men who acknowledged having come into contact with child sexual abuse content (“child pornography”) (4%) say that they would ignore it if they stumbled across it (16%).
The survey also revealed some differences in views between men and women, with women being more concerned than men across all categories of material.
The results come as the IWF reports record times for the removal of online child sexual abuse content from UK public networks. Throughout the whole of 2012, the Internet Watch Foundation logged just 73 UK webpages hosting child sexual abuse images or videos. This compares to 9,477 hosted in other countries around the world.
Of the 73 UK webpages:
o 41 (56%) were then removed within 60 minutes of the IWF notifying the host company or Internet Service Provider (ISP).
o 57 (78%) were removed in two hours or less. 
ComRes interviewed 2058 adults online from 6 to 8 March 2013.  Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all British adults aged 18+.  ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  

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