Tell Yandex: stop linking to child abuse images

We are archiving this campaign, because the most notorious of the websites concerned are now gone from the clear web. We were responsible for their delisting from Bing and DuckDuckGo, and Yandex placed warnings on the listings before they disappeared completely, indicating a good faith attempt to address the problem.

In the early days of the Internet, unlawful sexual images of minors were openly available online, and because they were indexed by search engines, they were easy for non-technical users to find. Since 2013, Google and Bing no longer index these images, which has reduced demand for the images by two thirds since then. But Russia’s most popular search engine, Yandex, still indexes websites that directly link to known unlawful images of child abuse. It’s time for Yandex to step up and do better.

Yandex: stop linking to child abuse images

As an Internet user who believes that there is no place on the open Internet for images of child sexual abuse or exploitation, I am asking you to remove direct links to pages that host such images from the Yandex search index. When Google and Bing tuned their search engine algorithms to make these unlawful images more difficult to find, searches for such images fell by two thirds.

Yandex's search algorithm has been improving every year in response to other challenges such as link spam, making sure that low-quality websites are downranked. But it's an open secret that Yandex can still be used to access websites that directly link to unlawful images of child sexual abuse, including some images that have been identified as amongst the "worst of the worst" by law enforcement authorities.

It is vital that freedom of expression and information online be upheld, and we do not advocate broad censorship measures that could impact on these important values. However, tuning a search engine to exclude pages that directly link to verified, previously-identified images of child sexual abuse has been proved to be a proportionate measure that can protect children without adversely affecting the human rights of others.

Please make your next priority to ensure that websites that directly link to child abuse images cannot be accessed through a Yandex web search.

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This petition is part of our campaign to reduce the demand for unlawful images of minors. Find out more and donate here.
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