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Breaking the Cycle of Victimization

Survivors whose child sexual abuse was recorded and spread online continue to be exploited by every person who views and shares recordings of their abuse. Project Arachnid, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s (C3P) platform to detect known images of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and issue removal notices to industry, has led to the removal of more than six million images of CSAM, helping to break the cycle of victimization for survivors.

Unwanted Followers

Trigger Warning: This video contains themes of child sexual abuse and its recording. All individuals depicted are actors, and this is a reflection of survivor experiences as a collective, not of any one individual.

Unwanted Followers tells the real story of countless victims whose abusive imagery continues to presently exist online. They have had to live this traumatic and tragic reality for decades due to platforms and services on the internet that have been allowed to operate without oversight.

You CAN help

For decades, survivors have been impacted by this silent, social epidemic. It’s time to stand with them and demand change. Your voice has the power to protect children.

We understand that this video may elicit various emotions for viewers, and that you may wish to share sensitive information about your own experiences. If you are a survivor or family member of a survivor please CONTACT US, to share any information about your experience.

Your participation is completely voluntary. By submitting your thoughts here, you authorize us to use any non-identifiable information you submit to help us better understand public perceptions, and to republish your thoughts as is (or with information removed to protect your privacy and/or reduce the length). Republication may take place on this page, on one or more of our social media channels, or in a report or other document we prepare to advocate on this issue.

Please do not include any names or personally identifying information, aside from your email should you wish to include it. We understand that sensitive information may be shared, and we want to assure you that we are committed to protecting your privacy at all times. Any thoughts, experiences or other information shared with us will only be reproduced in a non-identifiable way that cannot be associated back to any individual.

For more information about how we treat personal information generally, please see our Privacy Policy.

Our organization does not have a base of operations outside of Canada, nor does it provide goods or services outside of Canada. Please refer to our Privacy Policy for information about our personal information practices. If you do not agree with the terms of our Privacy Policy, please do not share your email address.

Providing your email is optional and completely voluntary. If you chose to share your email with us, it will be kept strictly confidential and only shared with those who are directly involved in responding to you or providing support. C3P will not use this email for any other purpose.

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The Epidemic

  • Since 2017, Project Arachnid has detected 42.7+ million possible images of CSAM*. And that’s JUST what OUR system found.
  • According to C3P’s report:
    • 97% of the CSAM Project Arachnid has sent notices on has lived on the clear web; the web you use every day.
    • In some cases it’s taken up to 42 days before a CSAM image is removed. If the image is of a teen or young adult, the delay can be even longer.
    • In half the cases we saw the same images re‑appearing on the same platforms.
  • The New York Times in their series “Exploited” brought to light the explosion of CSAM online and industry’s lack of response.

The Responsibility

Who is responsible for this epidemic? No one and everyone. The internet has been allowed to operate unchecked, without rules, leaving the most vulnerable to be victimized without consequence. This needs to change now.

Looking for a deeper dive into how we got here? C3P has several reports that focuses on how the global epidemic of CSAM is not being addressed properly in order to protect children and support survivors. Visit protectchildren.ca/research to learn more.

The Ask

Some of the recommendations below can be enacted almost immediately, while others will take time; either way we must continue to push for the change that is urgently needed for children/survivors.

Industry:

  • Prioritize the rapid removal of CSAM
  • Use already‑available proactive tools to prevent or limit the reappearance of known CSAM
  • Include CSAM‑specific reporting options in easy‑to‑locate reporting menus

Government:

  • Impose meaningful regulations that hold industry accountable for content on their platforms
  • Enact financial penalties for non‑compliance or failure to follow these regulations

More recommendations for change can be found in our latest report, Project Arachnid: Online available of child sexual abuse material.

If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse material, we can help. Visit protectchildren.ca/survivors, or safely contact us here.


The Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc. (“C3P”) authorizes you to share the link to the video that appears on this page on social media, or any other online platform for the sole purpose of promoting/spreading awareness about the video. You are not authorized to download the video or any excerpt thereof, nor to republish it in any other way beyond that stated above without the prior written permission of C3P.

  1. * As of January 2022.

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