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Cybertip.ca Marks 20 Years in Reducing Online Victimization of Children

September 26, 2022 8:41 AM | News

Lianna McDonald

Lianna McDonald, the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection based out of Winnipeg, poses in Winnipeg on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kelly Geraldine Malone)

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is marking 20 years of a once small pilot project to report online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

Cybertip.ca launched in Winnipeg in 2002 and has since processed more than 377,000 reports from the public.

“We have walked with families when no one else was there, day in and day out. But what a privilege it has been to serve Canadians and experience the powerful impact Cybertip.ca has had in helping children,” said Lianna McDonald, executive director for C3P.

In 2021, C3P managed more than 3,000 requests for support from survivors, youth, and/or their caregivers. In the last three months alone, C3P has assisted more than 540 individuals.

Project Arachnid, C3P’s global tool for disrupting the distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), has also led to the removal of seven million pieces of CSAM.

A virtual roundtable is planned for early October that will bring together survivors and families whose lives have been severely impacted by an unregulated internet. The roundtable event will underscore the federal government’s need to urgently act to regulate the internet.

“When we started the tipline we could have never predicted the magnitude of violence the internet would bring to children and youth, and how technology would be weaponized,” McDonald added.

“Now that we are here, we know where we need to go and what needs to be done to make this a safer world for children. Unlike other offline spaces where governments have and enforce rules, regulations, and expectations of the companies and spaces that serve children, the online interventions simply do not exist. This urgently needs to change.”