The NSPCC has slammed Facebook ‘s encryption plans after three out of four adults polled said they don’t think the site is safe for children.
In the East Midlands, only 18% of adults surveyed believe Facebook takes the safety of children using the site seriously and 67% believe the social network is failing in its duty of care to protect children.
More than three in four adults (79%) don’t think the platform is safe for children.
Out of 2,070 adults interviewed nationally, just one in five said the tech giant took the safety of children using the site (21%) seriously and nearly two thirds (62%) believed the platform was failing in its duty of care to protect children.
The claims came in an NSPCC/ Savanta ComRes poll following the tech giant’s announcement that they will encrypt messages on Facebook and Instagram.
The charity previously revealed that instances of Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp being used in child abuse image and online child sexual offences were recorded by the police 11 times a day in 2018/19. It is now warning the tech giant not to create hiding places for abusers by pressing ahead with encryption plans that don’t have strong safeguards in place.
Andy Burrows, NSPCC head of child safety online policy, said: “Facebook has been called out for its abject failure to make their platforms safe, yet their encryption plans will give offenders a free pass to abuse children while they look the other way.
“This cavalier approach risks creating a one stop grooming shop if Facebook don’t include strong safeguards that protect children in their encryption plan.
“Boris Johnson must make it clear that upcoming regulation will force Facebook to guarantee children’s safety on its messaging services or be hit hard in the pocket for failing in its duty of care.”
The NSPCC is calling for:
- No end-to-end encryption for messages going to or coming from children’s accounts on Facebook apps
- Adults accounts not to be encrypted until and unless Facebook has solutions to ensure child abuse can be detected and that children safety won’t be compromised
- The Government to push ahead with introducing an independent Duty of Care regulator to keep children safe online
- The Government to warn Facebook that encryption breaches the incoming Duty of Care and pressing ahead will mean tough consequences