Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Windows Live and Cybertipline

Although this blog was inspired by content on Facebook, child pornography is a problem on numerous social networks.  For example, there are some profiles on Microsoft Windows Live that are so foul that they can't even be screencapped, let alone displayed here.  An activist from Spain who has been fighting child pornography for years provided a sampling, though he pointed out that there are hundreds of such profiles.

There are still error messages related to invalid site certificates on the Cybertipline site, but if we ignore those, we come to a lengthy form.  Filling this out would be OK if you only had one or two sites to report, but it quickly gets infeasible if there are a lot of URLs.  So we contacted Cybertipline and asked if we could submit in an alternate format, e.g., XML or tab-delimited text.  They said no, and also asked that only one profile per form be reported.

This may sound petty, but an interface that is cumbersome or confusing discourages people from using it.  At the end of the day, that could make the difference between whether child pornography gets reported or not.

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