What Is Thorn, Digital Defenders of Children?

Here at Troomi, we’ve talked a lot about tech dangers to children. Now let’s talk about one of the positive uses of tech. Tech can be used to save children from sex trafficking and help law enforcement locate online content depicting sexual child abuse. Thorn happens to be one organization who uses tech to help keep your kids safe. So let’s look into who these digital defenders of children are.

What Is Thorn?

Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children was founded in 2012 by co-founders Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore as well as CEO Julie Cordue. They learned about child-trafficking from a documentary on children in Cambodia. It impacted them deeply as they realized (after further research) that it wasn’t just a problem in Cambodia but a problem all over the world, including in the US. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the number of sexual abuse files reviewed has grown from 450,000 cases in 2004 to 25 million in 2015. Thorn says that 63% of these children victimized were advertised online.

How Does Thorn Help?

The Internet has made child exploitation much easier. Thorn has created tech to directly oppose child exploitation, using survivor input to make their online tools as useful as possible. Those online tools are Spotlight, Solis, and Safer. 

  • Spotlight: Free to law enforcement everywhere around the world, Spotlight saves law enforcement time by helping them identify victims through an online database. They reported it saves time by 60% daily.
  • Solis: Solis is a product that does the same as Spotlight but on the dark web. It is also free to law enforcement worldwide. 
  • Safer: Thorn also created Safer for businesses to use. It detects, removes, and reports child sexual abuse material online. This is to protect victims from further trauma caused by this material continually being traded or consumed online.

Thorn works closely with tech companies and other nonprofits to increase their reach. Through outreach programs, they also work to educate parents and children about online safety.

What Impact Does Thorn Have?

In 2021, Spotlight identified 3,977 children victimized by child abuse and reduced investigation time by 61%. Thorn has helped identify 24,366 children over the span of their existence. There are over 2,700 agencies using Thorn tools around the world.

What Can We Do?

Thorn and their associates are digital defenders of children, and we can be too. As parents, we can teach our kids online safety and do our part to keep them safe. Thorn has online resources  to teach, prepare, and help parents in the instance that their child might fall victim to abuse.   

Troomi wants to do their part to help too. Their childsafe smartphones are designed to keep kids safe and protect their information from hackers using military grade security. Consider a Troomi phone to keep your kids safe as they learn to use tech, and keep an eye on our blog for more safety tips and information.