AI-generated Child Sex Abuse on the Internet

girl in dark photo with her hands on her head

There is a recent discovery that is featuring AI-generated sex abuse material on the internet that has been proliferated. The Washington Post just released an article that openly displayed examples of this abuse aimed at our children.

An evidence of this proliferation is what happened at the popular internet chat site, Discord. John Redgrave, Discord’s vice president of trust and safety, said that Discord was expanding its policies to address generative artificial intelligence that can create fake content and the sexualization of children, specifically banning AI depictions of child sexual abuse and even the sexualization of children in text chats.

The company said in a blog post announcing the changes that the updated child sexual abuse material policy would include, “any text or media content that sexualizes children, including drawn, photorealistic, and AI-generated photorealistic child sexual abuse material. The goal of this update is to ensure that the sexualization of children in any context is not normalized by bad actors.”

It is downright scary that there are depictions of child sexual abuse and sex acts involving children that are now needing to be guarded against by these companies who have AI, varied apps and other material that promotes this kind of violation of our children at levels that are criminal. I appreciate that internet companies like Discord are facing these realities and developing safety polices that protect our children against this kind of internet abuse.

As an example of what’s happening, NBC News identified 165 cases, including four alleged crime rings in which adults were prosecuted for transmitting or receiving child sexual abuse material via Discord, or for allegedly using the platform to extort children into sending sexually graphic images of themselves, also known as sextortion.

We spend millions of dollars and hours of investigative energy to make sure that any child who may be abused is protected and any abusers are prosecuted. Yet we have robots on the internet that openly sexualize our children, publish nude images of them, and promote messages and other material that is both destructive and dangerous. This is absolutely appalling, and from my perspective needs the same intentional investigation and prosecution that we would deem appropriate to any individual or organization that would commit child abuse in any way.

As caregivers of the health and safety of our children we must oppose this recent trend of using AI to promote the abuse of children sexually, physically or emotionally. This is a trend that we must not tolerate and should oppose in every way possible. The safety and protection of children is an obligation that we as adults must uphold for future generations.

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