INDUSTRY HASH SHARING PLATFORM

Status

Developed in 2012. Transitioned to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2014.

Challenge

Prior to 2012, most image sharing platforms were screening for child sexual abuse images independently, but not sharing intelligence. This meant that the process for content removal across the industry suffered from redundancy and inefficiencies and could be optimized to help find content faster, report it faster and provide intelligence to those tasked with identifying victims faster.

Our Approach

In 2012, Thorn collaborated with Facebook, Google and other technology industry leaders to create the Industry Hash Sharing Platform, a cloud-based hash sharing tool, and the first collaborative industry initiative to improve and accelerate the identification, removal and reporting of child abuse images across different digital networks. Other companies participating in the system could use verified hashes shared by participating companies to scan their own platforms for previously identified child sexual abuse content.

IMPACT

Within the first year of the program, eight of the country’s largest photo hosting platforms joined the initiative and more than 90,000 hashes were shared. In 2014, the Shared Hash approach was adopted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and integrated into its cybertipline reporting system to create a seamless experience for participating companies.

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