According to a report from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Instagram is now the platform most connected to grooming crimes.
The report from the NSPCC states that cases of grooming usually involve one social media platform. Instagram is most used at 32 per cent. Facebook and Snapchat were also mentioned, being used in 23 and 14 per cent of cases respectively.
This information comes police under Freedom of Information laws, with data that shows the use of Instagram as a tool for grooming getting a 200 percent increase from 2017 to 2018. Over 5000 cases of online grooming have been reported since 2017.
NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said in a statement to politicians: “these figures are overwhelming evidence that keeping children safe cannot be left to social networks.”
Safety is paramount
Keeping young people safe on our platforms is our top priority and child exploitation of any kind is not allowed," a Facebook representative told Mashable.
"We use advanced technology and work closely with the police and CEOP (The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command) to aggressively fight this type of content and protect young people.”
Both Facebook and Instagram also stated they remove most of the content that is related to child exploitation and nudity before it even gets reported. It also works harder to block users who search for anything related to child-exploitive terms.