Meta has set up a task force after a scathing report by the Stanford Internet Observatory found Instagram was guiding users to child sex abuse materials. File photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo
June 8 (UPI) -- Meta has set up a task force after a scathing report found Instagram was guiding users to child sex abuse materials.
The Facebook parent company announced Wednesday that it would create an internal task force to investigate claims in a Stanford Internet Observatory report that a web of between 500 and 1,000 social media accounts was advertising self-generated child porn.
"We're continuously exploring ways to actively defend against this behavior, and we set up an internal task force to investigate these claims and immediately address them," a Meta spokesperson said in a statement in response to the SIO report, which called Instagram's "user-friendly interface" the preferred option for advertising self-generated child sexual abuse material.
"The platform's recommendation algorithms effectively advertise SG-CSAM: these algorithms analyze user behaviors and content consumption to suggest related content and accounts to follow," the report said.
"Due to the widespread use of hashtags, relatively long life of seller accounts and, especially, the effective recommendation algorithm, Instagram serves as the key discovery mechanism for this specific community of buyers and sellers," the researchers found, following a tip from The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the findings.
According to the report, 31 accounts referred to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were still active on Instagram one month after they were reported. Meta said it is working to fix a technical issue that prevented content reviews from identifying and removing the predatory accounts.
While Meta said it had dismantled dozens of abusive networks over the past two years and disabled more than 490,000 accounts for child safety violations, the company said its new task force, along with technology and policies currently in place, will keep predators from interacting with teens and children.
"Child exploitation is a horrific crime," Meta spokesman Andy Stone said in a statement. "We work aggressively to fight it on and off our platforms, and to support law enforcement in its efforts to arrest and prosecute the criminals behind it."