News International joins Internet Watch Foundation

News International, publisher of The Times and The Sun, has joined the Internet Watch Foundation, an organisation that protects UK Internet users and combats illegal online content.

News International joins more than 70 organisations that are already members, but is the first national newspaper group to do so.

Following the launch of The Sun's social networking site, MySun, News International reviewed its online procedures, which included looking at its moderation team, which operates 24/7.

Danny Dagan, head of community at News Group Digital, said: "As the print media becomes more digitised, it has to ensure that it embraces user-generated content while, at the same time, keeping high standards and protecting the brand.

"This is not always an easy balance to maintain, but by adopting industry best practice and joining the IWF we are able to demonstrate our commitment to the safeguards that really matter."

The IWF aims to minimise the availability of potentially illegal internet content, specifically child abuse images, criminally obscene content and incitement to racial hatred.

Funded by the EU, its industry members include internet service providers, mobile operators and manufacturers, content service providers and telecommunications companies.

Peter Robbins, IWF chief executive, said: "News International's publications have been great supporters of our work, running print and online editorial to highlight our work, success and challenges in our fight against child abuse images on the Internet.

"We are delighted to welcome them now as a full funding member and look forward to developing this partnership in the future."

Also joining the IWF is eModeration, the user-generated content moderation firm.

Tamara Littleton, eModeration's CEO, said: "The only way to combat illegal content is for communities, public bodies and the police to all work together and the IWF provides the forum to do this. The rise of user generated content means that the role of moderators in spotting and removing illegal content is huge -- and growing."

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