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Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft back effort to stop child abuse online

The tech giants get behind a five-step plan called Project Protect.

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Tech giants including Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft are supporting a five-step plan from the Technology Coalition that aims to end online child sexual exploitation and abuse. 

The Technology Coalition, which was founded in 2006 and counts these companies among its members, provides funding and advice to the tech industry on online safety tools for children. 

"The world has changed since we first came together in 2006," the coalition said in a release Thursday. "Technology is more advanced, and there has been an explosion of new internet services, including mobile and online video streaming." 

The plan, called Project Protect, includes five pillars of action, according to the coalition. The actions include investing in new technology aimed at ending child abuse, holding annual government forums, funding independent research, creating new ways of sharing information, and increasing accountability. 

"Project Protect brings together the brightest minds from across the tech industry to tackle a grave issue that no one company can solve on its own -- child exploitation and abuse," said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in a release

The tech giants said they'll invest millions of dollars into research and innovation and publish annual reports on the coalition's progress.