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YouTube: Porn on YouTube, Telegram & other social media platforms: Govt may ask cos to list out steps taken | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


The government is reportedly not happy with the responses of social media companies YouTube, Telegram, X and others on on the issue of curbing pornography, child sexual and adult sexual abuse online. According to a report in Economic Times, the government may ask social media companies to provide detailed information on the steps that they have taken to curb pornographic and child sexual abuse material on their platforms. The government had issued notices to these platforms on October 6.
What government wants these companies to do
In the notice Meity had sent, it asked these companies to permanently block such content. It wants these companies to use tech-based solutions including automated tools that can identify and block such content permanently. The companies should also proactively identify any such info which ‘depicts any act or simulation in any form depicting rape, child sexual abuse’.
What is at stake
The companies risk losing the safe harbour provision extended to them under the Information Technology Rules of 2021 in case of non-compliance. The rules state that all social media intermediaries must deploy “technology-based measures, including automated tools” to not just block “obscene, pornographic, pedophilic” content but also proactively identify any such information which “depicts any act or simulation in any form depicting rape, child sexual abuse.”
What YouTube and Telegram said
Responding to government notice, YouTube and Telegram have said they had a “zero tolerance” policy for pornographic and child sexual abuse content on their platforms. “We have a zero-tolerance policy on child sexual abuse material. No form of content that endangers minors is acceptable to us. We have heavily invested in the technology and teams to fight child sexual abuse and exploitation online and take swift to remove it as quickly as possible. In Q2 2023, we removed over 94,000 channels and over 2.5 million videos for violations of our child safety policies. We will continue to work with experts inside and outside of YouTube to provide minors and families the best protections possible,” said YouTube spokesperson in a statement.

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