RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

We partner with nonprofits and academic institutions to gather new insights into the role technology plays in child sex trafficking, the creation and proliferation of child pornography, and the normalization of child sexual exploitation.  We then go beyond insight to action to develop the tools, systems and approaches to help address these issues.

BEFREE Text Shortcode: In partnership with Polaris Project’s National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Salesforce Foundation and Twilio, we created a text shortcode (BEFREE) to give victims a more discreet way to reach out for help while under the control of a pimp or trafficker.

Survivor Survey: We conduct an ongoing national survey of child sex trafficking survivors to better understand the role technology played in their recruitment, exploitation and escape. This data informs our programs and the field overall.

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Online Demand Study: We partnered with Arizona State University to measure the demand for sex being sold online. Learn more here.

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DETERRENCE

We create and support initiatives that disrupt predatory behavior and work to make the Internet a more hostile environment for those who seek to exploit children.


Our online deterrence programs aim to disrupt environments where children are bought and sold, or where child pornography is shared and encourage offenders to stop their behavior and seek help.


INDUSTRY EFFORTS

We bring industry leaders together to share information and cooperate on initiatives that can help rid the web of child sexual exploitation. To inquire about participating in industry initiatives, please contact programs@wearethorn.org.

Shared Hash: Thorn created the first collaborative industry initiative to improve and accelerate the identification, removal and reporting of child pornography.  The Shared Hash System allows companies to share digital fingerprints of abuse images via a cloud-based tool and benefit from their collective knowledge.

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Sound Practices Guide:  The Thorn Sound Practices Guide helps companies learn about proven practices and tools that exist to help to identify, remove, report and prevent child abuse content and behavior on their platforms.

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Thorn Tech Task Force:  The Thorn Technology Task Force is the largest industry task force, comprised of more than twenty companies, dedicated to driving technology innovation to fight child sexual exploitation.  A selection of participating companies are shown here.