Winnipeg, Canada — Today marks 20 years since the launch of Cybertip.ca, Canada’s tipline to report the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
Cybertip.ca, which started as a small, grass‑roots pilot in Winnipeg by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P), has played a critical role under the Government of Canada’s National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet, working on the frontlines in the fight against the ever‑evolving threats impacting children online. In the past two decades:
- Cybertip.ca has processed more than 377,000 reports from the public;
- Project Arachnid, C3P’s global tool for disrupting the distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), has led to the removal of seven million pieces of CSAM;
- More than 18 million pieces of education and prevention resources have been distributed, providing caregivers and youth with the skills and resources that help children navigate online situations safely.
“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,” says Lianna McDonald, Executive Director for C3P, pointing out that 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.
In early October, C3P is bringing together survivors and families whose lives have been severely impacted by an unregulated internet for a virtual roundtable event that will underscore the urgency to act.
“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. 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,” says McDonald. “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.”
To read more of McDonald’s reflections about how technology has been weaponized against children over the past 20 years, along with a report on how Cybertip.ca has helped Canadians for two decades, visit cybertip.ca/20.