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Colm Gannon /

STOP THE SEARCH - Identification, deterrence and Intervention

3 min read
Screenshot of a warning on Pornhub that reads: Warning. The content you have searched for could be harmful to yourself or others.
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Pathfinder Labs are proud to have been part of a deterrence solution for people who are trying to access material that promotes the sexual exploitation of children. Working with MindGeek and Home Care Medical, Pathfinder Labs worked to create connections and develop interventions for people searching for material connected to problematic and/or harmful sexual behaviour.

 This deterrence program implemented by MindGeek and Home Care Medical launched to enable the IDENTIFICATIONDETERRENCE and INTERVENTION of persons exhibiting problematic/harmful sexual behaviours.

IDENTIFICATION: Identify online users exhibiting harmful/problematic harmful behaviours through their use of search terms indicative of child sexual abuse material.

DETERRENCE: Preventing users from accessing the material through their search terms and presenting a block page to display that their behaviours are harmful to themselves and others.

INTERVENTION: Through the block page's target messaging, users are provided information to helplines in their country that can engage in a direct intervention to potential/onset offending.

Through these targeted deterrence messaging programs, similar to the collaboration between MindGeek and Home Care Medical, social interventions can be integrated as part of the solutions in combatting crimes against children. Preventing the early onset of offending enables Law Enforcement resources to be targeted at online users committed to engaging in harmful behaviours to exploit children sexually.

The use of proactive deterrence programs can help safeguard and prevent the continued online sexual exploitation of children. 

MindGeek, the company that manages and administer PornHub, has been making efforts since April 2020 to increase its proactive resources to prevent illegal content from being uploaded onto their platforms. As part of this strategy, MindGeek also seeks to connect with service providers to create a clear ‘social intervention’ pathway. Through early identification of harmful online behaviours, MindGeek believed the continuum to a successful deterrence program included access to responsible Therapeutic Service Providers.

Home Care Medical is the organisation responsible for the Safe-to-Talk helpline based in New Zealand and operating with funding from the New Zealand Government. Safe-to-Talk operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. The helpline operates under the national ‘Good Practice’ guidelines developed by ‘Te Ohaakii a Hine-National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST)’. Its mission is to connect with people who are victims of sexual harm, people who are concerned about their own problematic/harmful sexual ideation or people who are seeking advice to help someone else.

Pathfinder Labs is a private technology company based in New Zealand, founded on the principle of working with Government agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations and Private Industry to create a safer online environment. This collaboration draws from Pathfinder Labs experienced investigators, who have accumulated 50 years of investigative experience in online child abuse investigations. Pathfinder Labs believes that creating a network of like-minded organisations and coordinating resources creates initiatives that can positively impact online users.