Child pornography does not exist.

Child pornography does not exist. Child abuse should be labelled as such.

Why do we call it child pornography?

When talking about the subject of pornography, there is a tendency to be a little blasé. The word ‘Porn’ is uttered at parties amongst friends and depending on your stance, it’s either acceptable, taboo or repulsive.

Regardless, it’s something we talk about more openly today and debate ferociously. Pornography is a multi-million-pound industry where people in business enter into legal contracts with consenting adults and whichever side of the fence you sit, it isn’t illegal.

So let me ask you, why do we label it child pornography? Something as severe as child abuse should be labelled appropriately, with conviction and no grey areas. Shouldn’t it?

The official definition of pornography clearly defines its intended purpose. That purpose is sexual stimulation — I don’t need to point out the obvious. There can be no argument about the differences between Porn and Child abuse. However, clearly labelling the atrocity for what it is, completely negates any ambiguity immediately. There should be no trivialisation of sexual abuse, especially involving children because the devastation to a victim is exacerbated through idle language.

Kiddy porn or child abuse?

We mustn’t stop talking about it, quite the opposite, but we must use the correct language. Child abuse isn’t something that should be undermined by using soft terminology like ‘kiddy porn’. Everyone could help to spread that message if everyone agreed to use the appropriate language.

Child abuse terminology to be changed in the media?

Several government-backed agencies around the world are working to change the inappropriate use of language regarding child abuse. They too recognise that by having everyone follow the same format, the distinction between what’s right and wrong can be better defined.

The internet watch foundation or IWF state “We’re campaigning for an end to the use of the phrase child pornography”. They have implemented a social media campaign using the hashtag #NoSuchThing

Interpol state on their website “children whose sexual abuse has been photographed or filmed deserve to be protected and respected. The seriousness of their abuse should not be reduced by words such as porn.”

Proper language encourages two things:

  1. There is a clear overlap between viewing child abuse images online and the physical action of abusing a child. Clear communication promotes better understanding and implies that viewing child abuse content is not a victimless crime.

  2. It prevents the normalisation of the subject. It better segregates child abuse from its counterpart, pornography.

Talking and correct labelling are only the first line of defence. Of course, there are multiple levels of protection needed to keep our children safe online via mobile connections but at least this is a start.

At DragonflAI, we’re developing technology to prevent children from live-streaming nudity, as they deserve a safe world online.

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