Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union, has asked the help of the crowd in countering child pornography. Despite all their detection methods, they sometimes encounter objects in child abuse footage of which they have no idea what it is or where they are. Following Europol’s call for help, Bellingcat started a crowdsourcing project that has successfully identified several objects.
This is the second update on the “Stop Child Abuse – Trace An Object” campaign. You can read our previous coverage here:
- “Crowdsourcing Europol’s “Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object” Campaign,” June 1, 2017,
- “Update on Crowdsourcing Europol’s “Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object” Campaign,” June 15, 2017.
Want to join the search? Bellingcat uses the Check crowdsource platform, for which you can register to become part of the Bellingcat verification team on Check. It is worth noting that Check-user ‘Bo’ has identified the largest share of the objects.
— Europol (@Europol) August 11, 2017
The photo of an unknown hotel room (Check), tweeted by Europol, went viral and received worldwide attention. It was identified as a hotel room on Mauritius by a Portuguese Twitter-user. Dutch news show EenVandaag made a short item about the campaign.
This object (Check) has been identified as a soft toy for sale at a website called 10kr.ru. The object was identified by Check-user ‘Bo’, who explained that he used Yandex’ reverse image search to identify the object. This is a good example that it is worth trying other reverse image search engines than only Google, as Google’s reverse image search yielded no results but Yandex did.
This object (Check) has been identified as a toy for children ‘soft toy Cat Vaska’, for sale at a Russiasn webshop called Fleur de Lux. The object was identified by Check-user ‘Bo’, who explained that he again used Yandex’ reverse image search to identify the object.
The object was identified by Check-user ‘Bo’, who told Bellingcat that he initially thought it may be a soap box. However, the letters ‘FEE’ were bothering him, and he realised that the size of the object must be larger given its relation to the tiles in the background, assuming the tiles were 10×10 cm. So Bo started looking for coffee trays. Every time he found one that came close with regards to material and form, he would click “other sizes and similar images” on Yandex (Russia’s equivalent of Google) and continued that search on and on, until he found the tray. “But at that time, I had seen thousands or even more coffee trays.”
This object (Check) has been identified as H&M girl’s water shoes.
There are still many unidentified objects, such as a chair, a box, a book, bath tiles, and a sweatshirt. You can see which objects have not been identified by clicking on ‘In Progress’ on the project page at Check. You need to register or log in to apply this function.