India Urges X, YouTube and Telegram to Remove Child Sexual Abuse Material
Updated: Jan 8
India has issued notices to social media platforms X (formerly known as Twitter), YouTube and Telegram, instructing them to ensure that there is no child sexual abuse material on their platforms.
The government has warned that these companies could lose their protection from legal liability if they fail to comply.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) emphasised the importance of promptly and permanently removing any such content.
Failure to act swiftly could result in the withdrawal of their safe harbor under section 79 of the IT Act, leading to legal consequences under Indian law.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the junior minister for information technology, expressed the government's determination to create a safe and trusted internet under the IT rules. He stated that if the companies do not comply, they will face the consequences. The government has also requested that the platforms implement measures such as content moderation algorithms and reporting mechanisms to prevent the dissemination of child sexual abuse material in the future.
In response to the notices, Telegram stated that child abuse materials are explicitly forbidden by its terms of service. The platform's moderators actively patrol public areas and rely on user reports to remove content that violates their terms. YouTube, owned by Google, reiterated its zero-tolerance policy towards child sexual abuse material, stating that no form of content endangering minors is acceptable to them. In the third quarter of 2023, YouTube removed over 94,000 channels and more than 2.5 million videos for violations of its child safety policies.
The government's actions come as part of its ongoing efforts to combat the dissemination of harmful content online. In July, India informed online streamers like Netflix and Disney that their content should be independently reviewed for obscenity and violence before being shown online.
India has sent notices to X, YouTube and Telegram, instructing them to remove any child sexual abuse material from their platforms.
Failure to comply could result in the loss of legal liability protection for these companies.
The government emphasises the importance of prompt and permanent removal of such content.