#Cheap! Twitter refuses to increase £5,000 donation to fight child pornography

Estimated value, in its impending IPO? £8bn.

Contribution towards child porn prevention measures? £5,000, and not a penny more.

Tech goliath Twitter has locked horns with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) over contributions to combat child porn.

Pulling a Scrooge, Twitter has said that it’s going to contribute only £5,000, despite calls for raising the amount to £75,000.

Other tech titans like Google have pledged £1m, while BT, Sky, Virgin Media and Talk Talk are committing a combined £1m over four years.

Over the past three months, IWF has notified Twitter over 20 times that links to child pornography have been tweeted out using the service.

John Carr, a government adviser on online child safety, told The Times: “I am absolutely astonished Twitter is paying only £5,000 to the IWF. My industry sources tell me not only did Twitter grumble about the paltry fees the IWF charge but they are also moaning about the new fee structure that is being discussed.”

When asked to contribute £75,000, Twitter demanded information on how the amount was calculated.

Not convinced by IWF’s argument of calculating the amount based on the number of regular users, Twitter raised a finger at Facebook. It claimed that Facebook, which is listed as paying more than £5,000 a year, would have to raise its contribution to £375,000.

Twitter went on to say that it should not be expected to increase its contribution until its current membership of the IWF expires in July 2014.

Susie Hargreaves, chief executive of the IWF, said: “We are […] reviewing our membership fees with our members, including Twitter. This review aims to ensure that we have the resources we need so that, together with our members, we can further step up the fight against online child sexual abuse content.”

Twitter said: “We are a member of the IWF and plan to continue our membership in 2014. We take this issue extremely seriously and, in addition to affiliations with relevant organisations, we have an internal team committed to child protection and are exploring technology approaches to the problem.”

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