Study: child pornography and sexually exploitative content on the rise.

Technology

In this photo illustration, social media apps are seen on a mobile phone. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Columbus Ga. (WRBL) – A study shows that child nudity and sexual exploitation content is on the rise on social media.

In 2020 Facebook removed 35.9 million pieces of content flagged for “child nudity and sexual exploitation,” according to a report on this issue.

TikTok doubled its content removals for “minor safety” between 2019 and 2020. YouTube, Reddit and Snapchat had their number of content removals relating to child sexual exploitation increase from 2018 to 2020.

WRBL spoke with Tinishia Mathis, a teacher at Midland Middle School and a parent of three, about the stats.

“It’s terrifying because I’m a mother of three teenage daughters,” says Mathis. “Two of them who I have just allowed to get on social media, because they’re going into high school. So, one way that I’ve tried to control that in my household is that, with my two identical twin daughters, I just allowed them to get on social media.”

Tinishia says she keeps a close eye on the kids phones as well. “Some parents think that it is an invasion of privacy, but I do not. I go through my children’s phone. I have no problem going through a phone. Parents just have to be more involved you can’t just give a child a cellphone and let them go.”

Mathis also told WRBL about the struggle involved in keeping a vigilant eye on her students. “We have the blocks where students can’t get on social media there are always these apps and things that students can use to bypass the firewall. That’s pretty scary too to know that sometimes even if you block, they can still get around it.”

Mathis says she sees cellphones for children as a double edged sword. “To me it’s like a blessing and a curse all at the same time, because they have the world in the palm of their hands, and they have all types of information which is great. But at the same time, they have the world in the palm of their hands and they have all types of information which can be not so great.”

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