How we assess your report
and remove child sexual abuse material
Hotline.ie's vision is an Internet rid of child sexual abuse material and a digital world with zero tolerance of sexually exploitative acts or conduct towards children.
One child sexually abused and exploited is one too many.
Hotline.ie works at the intersection of civil society, online service providers and law enforcement, for the protection of countless children within Ireland and abroad. We ensure that child sexual abuse material is swiftly removed from the Internet at source so the children in the imagery may be identified and safeguarded.
Each report we receive is manually assessed by our highly skilled and internationally trained Analysts. Their assessments are accurate and trusted by law enforcement, the tech industry (online service providers) and INHOPE counterparts.
Our Analysts assess each report in accordance with rigorous standards and by reference to Irish law, namely as it relates to suspected child sexual abuse material (CSAM) the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998 (as amended by the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017), and where applicable the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Act 2020.
When the reported content (for example an image) "in itself" is not contrary to the Irish law (does not meet the threshold criteria set out in legislation), it is subsequently classified as "not illegal", with no further action required.
When the reported content is assessed as potentially illegal under Irish law, the Internet location of the content is identified. Hotline.ie Analysts use at least three methods to trace and determine the geographical location at which the content is hosted at the time of assessment. This allows us to work in collaboration with the relevant partner organisations to have the illegal content removed at source as quickly as possible.
Removing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) when found to be accessible from Ireland: Hotline.ie will immediately notify An Garda Síochána and the appropriate online service provider to have the content removed. In most cases, CSAM found to be hosted in Ireland is removed within 24 hours from receipt of the Hotline.ie Notice and Takedown request by the online service provider.
Removing CSAM when found to be hosted outside of Ireland: We will notify An Garda Síochána and the INHOPE member hotline in the appropriate jurisdiction. We work in partnership with the relevant hotline counterpart (46 other hotlines in 42 countries worldwide) to ensure CSAM is removed from the Internet irrespective of where in the world it may be hosted. If there is no hotline presence in the source country the report is dealt with through international law enforcement channels, whilst Hotline.ie will be making all reasonable efforts to liaise for the expeditious removal of the content from the Internet.
When the reporter does not provide sufficient information for our Analysts to work out:
- the Internet location at which the suspected illegal content may be accessed; or
what is being reported as suspected illegal content, the report will be classified "insufficient detail".
- no URL (link) provided;
- a whole forum without description of the content or how/where to locate it within;
- search results displaying tens to hundreds of images and/or videos without any clear indication to the suspicion, etc.
Reports in respect of content ownership, copyright infringement, sale of drugs, spyware allegations, sale of documents or personal data, trade of endangered species, money-laundering allegations, etc. are outside Hotline.ie remit and will be classified as such.
Please note that Hotline.ie does not offer legal advice.
Read our latest annual report Break the Cycle. One report at a time to view the report journey infographic, learn more about our partnership approach, our impact, details on content classifications, and how you can help.