The government has issued notices to social media platforms X, formerly Twitter, YouTube, and Telegram to remove child sexual abuse material from their platforms in India, an official statement said on Friday. Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajiv Chandrasekhar said if social media intermediaries do not act swiftly, their safe harbour under section 79 of the IT Act would be withdrawn, implying that the platforms can be directly prosecuted under the applicable laws and rules even though the content may have not been uploaded by them.
“Ministry of Electronics and IT has issued notices to social media intermediaries X, YouTube, and Telegram, warning them to remove Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) from their platforms on the Indian internet.
“The notices served to these platforms emphasize the importance of prompt and permanent removal or disabling of access to any CSAM on their platforms,” the statement said.
The notices also call for the implementation of proactive measures, such as content moderation algorithms and reporting mechanisms, to prevent the dissemination of CSAM in the future.
“We have sent notices to X, YouTube, and Telegram to ensure there is no Child Sexual Abuse Material that exists on their platforms. The government is determined to build a safe and trusted internet under the IT rules.
“If they do not act swiftly, their safe harbour under section 79 of the IT Act would be withdrawn and consequences under the Indian law will follow,” Mr Chandrasekhar said.
The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, provides the legal framework for addressing pornographic content, including CSAM. Sections 66E, 67, 67A, and 67B of the IT Act impose stringent penalties and fines for the online transmission of obscene or pornographic content, the statement said.
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