- 8,904 actionable cases of notified legal violations on the Internet
- 28 percent more depictions of sexual abuse of minors
- Depictions of abuse could be taken down in over 98 percent of cases worldwide
- 100 percent take-down rate for websites hosted in Germany in an average of 8 days
Today, the Complaints Office of eco – Association of the Internet Industry published its English version of its 2022 Annual Report. With 8,904 actionable cases, the eco Complaints Office once again recorded a new peak of notified legal violations on the Internet last year (2021: 8,613 actionable cases).
Depictions of abuse of children continue to make up the majority of actionable complaints
The number of actionable complaints about depictions of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of minors actually increased by about 28 percent in 2022. Depictions of sexual violence against children continued to account for the majority of these complaints. Of the total of 8,760 cases from this area of offense, the majority – as in previous years – were regarding content that qualified as Child Pornography as defined in Section 184b of the German Criminal Code.
“As sad and distressing as these increases are, especially concerning depictions of abuse of young people, they also show that our society is becoming more and more vigilant and is clearly acting against illegal content,” says Head of the eco Complaints Office Alexandra Koch-Skiba. “The core message of our Complaints Office has resonated with people: Everyone can report illegal internet content and thus actively contribute to its take-down as well as its prosecution.”
Depictions of abuse were able to be taken down in over 98 percent of cases worldwide
In close cooperation with its network partners, in 2022 the eco Complaints Office was able to achieve important successes: Within Germany, 100.0 per cent of hosted websites with content still referred to in German legal terminology as Child Pornography – i.e., depictions of the sexual abuse of children – were taken down within an average of around 2.8 days. Worldwide, such content was removed in about a week and with an overall success rate of 98.5 per cent. This underlines just how important the work of the hotlines is and that the principle of take-down instead of blocking continues to function extremely well.
With regard to the European Commission’s current draft ‘Regulation on laying down rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse’, Koch- Skiba has the following to say:
“We are deeply convinced that the principle of take-down instead of blocking can be the only viable way to combat illegal Internet content. As such, current regulatory projects at the European level must more effectively promote this approach; the aims should be to incorporate established functioning structures and existing cooperations and synergies.”
How citizens can report illegal Internet content
2022 has once again shown how important it is that illegal content can also be reported anonymously to the eco Complaints Office: Last year, the eco Complaints Office received a total of 18,110 complaints based on potentially criminal Internet content or Internet content relevant to youth media protection. Approximately 65 per cent of the complainants submitted these reports anonymously, representing an increase of 19 percentage points compared to the previous year.
Illegal Internet content can be reported to the eco Complaints Office here.
Downloads and further information
- Annual Report eco Complaints Office 2022
- Graphic: Actionable Complaints 2022
- Graphic: Reporters of the Received Complaints 2022
- Graphic: Total Success Rate for Web-based Content 2022
- Infoclip: This is how things work at the eco Complaints Office
Here you can read the detailed eco STATEMENT on the EU Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation Laying Down Rules to Prevent and Combat Child Sexual Abuse: https://international.eco.de/download/204062/