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Thorn Staff

Women Who Inspire Us to Be a Force For Good

By | News, Technology For Good | No Comments

We all find a way to get through the tough days, the rough patches, the I’m-not-doing-great-today days. And when we’re taking care of ourselves as we try to build the world we want to live in, we need something to ground us. On International Women’s Day, we’re reflecting as a team about the women who inspire us to keep going, try harder, and push through.

Because that’s what we need in this work — people who inspire us to be better than we are today, people who show us through their actions that not only can we make a difference, but that we can make this world different. It’ll get better if we build it.

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Human Trafficking Awareness 365 Days A Year

By | Child Sex Trafficking, Survivors | No Comments

Let’s recap.

Grappling with the reality of child sexual abuse takes time and space, regardless of whether you’re new to the issue or have lived its reality. We hope you give yourself that space, and we hope we get to keep you as a critical part of this movement. As we look beyond Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we want to provide you with information that you can you carry forward into the next 11 months and beyond. Read More

Cloudera Cares + Thorn = Social Impact at Grace Hopper 2016

By | Partners, Technology For Good | No Comments

Our team joined Cloudera Cares to host a hackathon at the recent Grace Hopper Open Source Day. Women attending the conference were invited to take part in a day long hackathon to benefit a social impact project. The event served a number of purposes — to draw attention to the problem of child sexual exploitation, look for ways to stop it, encourage women starting out in their tech careers to contribute and offer those same women the opportunity to be mentored by other experienced engineers and data scientists. Read More

My First 30 Days as a Development Associate at Thorn

By | Technology For Good | No Comments

As soon as I started at Thorn, I was thrilled to be at a hub where technology and social good intersect. From my first day, I was immersed in the world of Thorn’s programmatic work and multi-layered partnerships. I was encouraged to ask questions (I had about a thousand) and to keep asking them, and even to give feedback beyond my immediate scope of work. It was apparent that Thorn’s approach was different than that of the average non-profit. At Thorn, innovation and new ideas are encouraged and, in fact, drive our work fighting child sexual exploitation. I am excited to be part of a team that is both dynamic and forward-thinking — constantly engaging in conversations and forging new relationships in order to create the best and most effective tools on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable children. Read More

Philip Holzenspies

Child Safety Solutions: Hackathon Elevates Image Hashing

By | Child Abuse Imagery, Technology For Good | No Comments

Philip Hölzenspies is a Software Engineer at Facebook. He also works to maintain the platform’s PhotoDNA infrastructure, which helps accelerate the identification, removal and reporting of child abuse imagery.

In the (online) Child Safety space, tech companies get to forget about being companies for a bit and focus on what really matters. People who work in this space in tech companies know this, sort of. It is invigorating, though, to experience it so acutely during a cross-company Child Safety Hackathon. This type of event provides a rare networking opportunity to meet people and share insights with those working in the same space. While conferences on child safety cover a much wider range of highly critical areas — law enforcement, signals for social workers, post-traumatic pastoral care, etc. — they’re far removed from the day-to-day job of a software engineer. A hackathon like this provides the opportunity to share war stories, personal drivers and innovative solutions that are tied to this work. Read More

Tech-Solutions-Greg-Clark

Hackathon Creates Tech Solutions for Child Safety

By | News, Partners, Technology For Good | No Comments

Greg Clark is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft and participated in the recent Child Safety Hackathon at Facebook.

As someone who has spent his entire career thus far working in technology, I’ve always looked for opportunities to use my skills and experience to make a difference, beyond simply producing new innovative software and services.

I recently had the privilege of traveling to the Bay Area to attend a Child Safety Hackathon, put on by Facebook, featuring challenges from Thorn and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The goal was to raise the problem of child sex trafficking to a diverse group of engineers to see what progress could be made over two days. The result was truly amazing! Read More