The Tech Coalition unites the global technology industry to collaborate on the development, standardization and dissemination of new tools and programs to protect all children from online sexual exploitation and abuse.
Today, we’re delighted to welcome two new members – Clubhouse and Outschool – taking proactive steps in service of that goal. They join 22 other companies working to develop new technologies, fund new research, increase their reporting, and take collective action – as detailed in our first annual report also published today.
“Momentum is growing within the Tech Coalition, and our members have transformed our governance, vision, strategy, structure and capabilities,” said Sean Litton, Executive Director of the Technology Coalition. “But there’s much more work to do. Clubhouse and Outschool bring valuable perspectives about new and emerging digital tools – social audio and online education – that will help us expand our efforts into even more areas in support of our mission to protect children online.”
“Our goal is to create a more human space on the internet where people talk with each other. Joining the Tech Coalition is a reflection of our commitment to vertical-leading policies, protections, and enforcement practices,” said Jessica Mason, Head of Global Policy and Public Affairs, Clubhouse, who continued, “Collaboration with our fellow members will ensure that best practices in social audio trust and safety are shared for the benefit of everyone in the space.”
"Outschool focuses on kids, encouraging their love of learning and passion for ideas. As a marketplace created specifically for children, community is a big part of the experience; as a result, safety is always our first priority. Our trust and safety team is solely dedicated to protecting kids from exploitation and abuse above all else. We are excited about the opportunity to learn from other companies and to share insights into the innovations, knowledge, and experience through the Tech Coalition to do everything in our power to keep our children safe online," said Nicole Lopez, Head of Trust and Safety at Outschool.
Online education became critically important during covid lockdowns, while social audio is rapidly growing as a new form of social media. With Clubhouse and Outschool’s involvement, we’ll be able to extend our knowledge of what works into these novel internet platforms. We’ll also be able to learn from their own trust and safety programs, and scale that knowledge across the Tech Coalition membership.
Tech Coalition members are implementing new technologies and increased reporting by 29%
One year ago, the Tech Coalition launched Project Protect – the technology industry’s most ambitious effort to date to eliminate online child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
Driving greater transparency and accountability across our membership is critical to the success of these efforts. That’s why we committed to the publication of an annual progress report detailing industry’s efforts to combat child sexual exploitation online. Our first report, published today, details the significant progress Tech Coalition members are making:
Developing new technologies: To prevent CSAM from being shared across platforms, industry uses tools that assign unique identifiers (“hashes”) to known images of abuse. When a user uploads CSAM, the platform can spot that it matches a known hash and quickly take action. The Tech Coalition is supporting industry collaboration on hash technologies – all members currently deploy or are implementing them to keep children safe.
Funding new research: While image-based hashing is well established, video-based hashing is less developed. To rectify this, the Coalition has committed $1.25 million to a partnership with THORN partly to develop new universal video hashing techniques to help industry more quickly report and take down abusive content.
Transparency and accountability: When incidents arise, it is essential they are reported to help facilitate coordinated action. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is the U.S.’s centralized system for reporting the online exploitation of children. Thanks in part to industry’s increased use of tools and strategies to block harmful content, Tech Coalition members increased reporting to NCMEC’s CyberTipline by 29% from 2019 to 2020, and 98% of NCMEC’s cyber reports came from members.
Coordinating collective action and knowledge-sharing: Successfully combatting online CSAM requires aligned efforts from technology companies, NGOs, policymakers, governments, law enforcement and survivor-led organizations. So far in 2021, the Tech Coalition has hosted three forums with 238 participants from 29 countries to draw from expertise across industry, policy, regulation, law enforcement, civil society, and survivors to identify practical steps for further action.
If you or your organization would like to join the Tech Coalition or find out more about our work, please contact us here.
About Clubhouse - The Social Audio App
Clubhouse is a new type of social network based on voice where people come together for great conversations. Communities gather on Clubhouse to talk, listen, and learn from each other in real-time, about topics like music, comedy, politics, dating, and more. On Clubhouse, people can sit back and observe, raise their hands to chime in, or create their own rooms. For more information and to download the app, visit clubhouse.com or follow the company on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Outschool offers live online education experiences that connect real-life teachers with learners in small-group settings to explore everything from Minecraft, Pokemon and Cooking to Chemistry, Algebra and Literature. With over 100,000 online classes offered by teachers to learners around the globe, Outschool helps supplement what is often missing from a more traditional education. Outschool’s mission is to inspire kids to love learning by making education fun, social and self-directed.
Classes on Outschool range from one-time enrichment lessons to semester-long core courses. Classes are offered across all subjects, and our learners range from age 3 to 18. More information can be found at outschool.com.