As 2022 comes to a close, I want to thank you.
The challenges we face in combating child sexual abuse online are complex and relentless, requiring all of us to think and act in new ways. Throughout this rapidly changing landscape, the Tech Coalition and our members have remained committed to this work, every step of the way.
While 2022 was not without its obstacles to overcome, there have also been many great accomplishments. Thanks to the amazing collaboration of our members, this year we -
Launched the TRUST Framework for Industry Transparency to better align industry transparency and accountability;
Completed the Video Hashing Interoperability Alpha Pilot project;
Hosted INITIATE Hackathon & Tech Meetup;
Increased our commitment to research and announced a new round of Tech Coalition Safe Online Research Fund grantees;
Added new member companies, each with unique experiences and perspectives; and
Finally, we have unified and modernized our services and resources to better serve our members in a rapidly changing environment - and so much more.
Looking ahead, 2023 will present many more opportunities for collaboration and impact for the Tech Coalition and our industry members.
For many years I’ve committed to ending the old year by reflecting on all the good things that have come to pass, noting those things that have been difficult, and welcoming the new year with intention. This year, I feel that practice is more important than ever. It matters that we recognize the ways we’ve thrived through difficulty, that we fully accept where we need to grow, and that we create things to look forward to. In that reflection I find myself both incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do this work alongside so many deeply committed individuals, and proud of the progress we’ve made thus far.
As we saw in-person events return this year, with many of us meeting each other and shaking hands for the first time, it felt like a chance to “go back to normal”, but normal isn’t good enough. This issue has already become too normalized. Normal is bad actors seeking children online for the intention of abuse. Normal is perpetrators taking advantage of tech tools that are meant to build community and connection and using them for harm. Normal is the hundreds of thousands of child sexual abuse material reports received by NCMEC each week. We cannot go back to normal, we must continue to move forward.
It’s our purpose as a Coalition to ensure that our industry members have the space, opportunity, tools, trust, and collaboration to do just that - move forward.
I want to personally thank you for being on this journey with the Tech Coalition. Best wishes for a special holiday season and fresh start in 2023.