Feb 16, 2023

WBUR Speaks to Hany Farid About the Rise of Child Sexual Abuse Material

From WBUR On Point

Child sexual abuse material is on the rise online. Will lawmakers and big tech finally act?

By Paige Sutherland, Meghna Chakrabarti, and Tim Skoog

In just one year, reports of suspected child sexual abuse material online jumped by 35%. A big spike in an ongoing trend.

"What I think has been particularly troubling over the last 20 years is that the victims are getting younger and younger and younger. The acts are getting more and more violent and becoming more prevalent," Hany Farid, a professor of computer science at UC Berkeley, says.

The content is easy to find, because it's not hiding. It's circulating on the largest social media platforms in the world.

"It is not in the dark recesses of the Internet. It's on Facebook, it's on Instagram and TikTok. It's on social media. You don't have to look hard to find this material," Farid says.


Hany Farid is a professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information and EECS.

Hany Farid
Hany Farid (photo by Brittany Hosea-Small for the School of Information)

Last updated:

February 24, 2023