First Connections Platform to join IWF demonstrating the company’s commitment to user safety while setting industry standards
NEW YORK – December 14, 2023 – Bitly Inc., the world’s leading connections platform, announced a new partnership with UK-based nonprofit Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to detect and block child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The partnership will allow Bitly to use the IWF’s URL list and other tech services to remove and block links or scans that lead to CSAM images further safeguarding its Platform and users. Bitly is the first Connections Platform, a service that enables users to create, share, and track custom short URLs, QR codes, and Link-in-bio all in one place, to establish itself with this initiative. This marks a significant step in the company’s commitment to overcome human rights issues within the technology industry.
Internet safety is a key pillar for Bitly, given the breadth of its platform. Millions of links and QR codes are created by Bitly users every day, translating into billions of clicks per month. While abusive activity is much less than one percent of the company’s overall volume, Bitly is committed to investing in an anti-abuse system that mitigates the spread of harmful content. Bitly has committed to investing in a combination of non-profit organizations (like the IWF), third-party vendors, and trusted technology partners while also developing proprietary technology to ensure user safety and improve industry standards.
“There has been a prolific rise in the misconduct of people utilizing technology for questionable content. We believe that it is important to prioritize the safety and integrity of our Connections Platform for each of our users,” said Ben Kleiman, Director of Product, Bitly. “Our new partnership with the IWF is an important step forward to enhance the capabilities of our proven and robust trust and safety features while also doing our part in prioritizing human rights issues that have become prominent in the industry today.”
Bitly takes every opportunity to provide a trusted and safe Connections Platform. With capabilities like its Threat Detection Service, the company’s Trust and Safety team can communicate with other services to determine whether a given link threatens its community. This partnership enhances the breadth and accuracy of Bitly’s technology so that the company can continuously adapt to security risks and provide a safe experience to its users.
“There has been a rise of technology misuse to create images and videos of children being harmed and sexually abused that are being distributed widely throughout the internet,” said Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of IWF. “The IWF is making great strides to protect the global population from this content by creating key partnerships with the right technology providers to remove and block all child sexual abuse images from the internet. Our job is extraordinarily challenging and now with Bitly we are one step closer to creating a safer future for all internet users.”
Bitly joins more than 190 technology companies that use the IWF’s services and continues to back the importance of the IWF’s global mission to hunt down any online record of child sexual abuse. To learn more about Bitly’s human rights commitments visit the company’s site here.
Bitly is the world’s leading Connections Platform, providing a way for brands and businesses to build more meaningful connections with their audiences both online and offline. As a leading global SaaS company, Bitly empowers millions of monthly active users and hundreds of thousands of customers globally to use branded links, custom QR Codes, and link-in-bio solutions as a trusted way to engage their audience and deliver critical notifications, information, and experiences. Bitly is proud to be named as one of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces in 2023, a globally respected publication that awards American companies this honor as the result of a comprehensive measurement of those who have excelled in creating exceptional workplaces and company culture. For more on Bitly, visit https://bitly.com/.
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is a UK-based charity working globally to find and remove child sexual abuse imagery from the internet. Established in 1996, the organization’s dedicated analysts scour the internet to identify child sexual abuse material and then work internationally with technology companies and law enforcement to ensure those materials are removed. The IWF also provides services and datasets for tech companies to help prevent the distribution of this criminal material.