Since the inception of the world wide web, many great things that no-one imagined would be possible have come to fruition, but they are often overshadowed by the darker and scarier parts of the internet that can harm or exploit others.
It’s because of this, that the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Marie Collins Foundation (MCF) exist, and they endeavour to put an end to many online crimes including the abuse of children and minors online.
Comedian Arron Crascall and football YouTuber EmanSV2 have partnered with the Internet Watch Foundation and the Marie Collins Foundation, to raise awareness of the crime of online child sexual abuse material as part of an education campaign that aims to encourage and empower young men to report sexual images and videos of children online.
As part of the campaign, Arron and Eman staged and posted deliberate mishap photos – an image in which something wasn’t quite right – on their Instagram pages to trigger their followers to leave comments pointing out the mishap. After 24 hours, both influencers responded by revealing their work with the IWF and the MCF, encouraging their combined 5 million followers to speak up and take action should they ever stumble across sexual images or videos of under 18s in the future by highlighting that it’s quick, easy and anonymous to do so.
Arron Crascall, said:
“It was an honour to work with the Internet Watch Foundation and the Marie Collins Foundation on such an amazing and important campaign. To be involved in changing lives is a great feeling.”
“This campaign was for a fantastic cause and I was very pleased to be asked by the Internet Watch Foundation and the Marie Collins Foundation to work on it. It proved effective and received a great response from my audience.”
The talent-led campaign which was conceptualised by social video company Brave Bison was hugely successful, reaching 6.8 million people and racking up more than 5.4 million views on Instagram.
Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the Internet Watch Foundation, the UK charity responsible for finding and removing online child sexual abuse material, said:
“I really do applaud the courage of these young men taking on such a taboo subject. Child sexual abuse is not something a lot of people want to talk about, but it is so important for the victims that people in influential positions like this do speak out and do not remain silent. It is a brave and bold thing to take a difficult topic like this and challenge thousands of followers to confront it. But it is only by doing this that we can hope to make more people aware of the issues, and also aware of the ways they can make a difference and take action themselves.”
Rhiannon, a survivor of online child grooming and exploitation and a Subject Matter Expert for the Marie Collins Foundation echoed this, adding:
“Brave Bison did a fantastic job getting Arron and Eman involved in the campaign and in raising awareness of such a serious issue in new and creative ways to connect with their audiences and spread the messages wider. The responses to their posts showed that their followers had really thought about and appreciated the message of the campaign and it was fantastic to see so much support for it. I hope it makes more young men realise they can play a part in keeping children safe and that they will report any sexual images of under 18s they come across.”
Oliver Green, CEO at Brave Bison, concluded:
“By working alongside some incredible talent, the campaign has shown that interesting content can reach the right target audience and create impact and therefore action. It has been a pleasure to work with the Internet Watch Foundation and the Marie Collins Foundation to raise awareness of such an important issue and, as a company, we remain dedicated to making the internet a safer place for all.”
If you see anything untoward, please do speak out here.