Project Arachnid

Database Filters

Type of intervention     

Project Arachnid uses technological solutions to reduce the spread of child sex abuse materials online. The software scans web pages to search for child sexual abuse materials using data hashes and media signatures. If child sexual abuse materials are then detected a request is sent to the site host to remove the materials.    

Target group/s, level/s of prevention and sub-group/s:   

Individuals creating and distributing child sexual abuse materials for tertiary prevention.   

Target population     

Sites which are used to host child sexual abuse materials.   

Delivery organisation     

The platform is hosted by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. This is a Canadian charity seeking to achieve the personal safety of all children.

Mode and context of delivery  

Online media scanning software.   

Level/Nature of staff expertise required    


Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)    


Description of intervention 

Project Arachnid is used to search websites which have been reported to or Shield for containing child sexual abuse materials. The software then scans these sites searching for known child sexual abuse materials by recognising media signatures or data hashes. When media is detected, a notice is given to the site host to remove the materials. At present, the program detects over 100000 unique images each month which are then assessed. In addition to preventing the spread of child sexual abuse materials, this supports the psychological wellbeing of survivors who have little control in the distribution of the records of their abuse. 

Project Arachnid also offers the Shield program. Platforms can sign up to Shield which allows Project Arachnid to scan their site for child sexual abuse materials and report the Project Arachnid automatically. This is free of charge and helps to speed up the removal process.

Project Arachnid works in collaboration with a range of international child protection helplines. This has been developed into the Arachnid Orb, where expertise and information can be pooled. This improves the validity of the media signatures and increases the number of notices which Project Arachnid can issue.


Up to April 2021, Project Arachnid had processed over 126 billion images, of which 37.2 had been highlighted for analyst review. Over 6.9 million notices have been sent to hosts and 85% of these have related to victims who were not known to law enforcement services.



Contact details     

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RATING: Effective