Mobile messaging platform Telegram has banned 2,114 groups and channels related to child abuse content, according to a Telegram channel ‘Stop Child Abuse’.
The instant messaging platform is one of three entities to which the government on Friday issued notices to remove child sexual abuse material in India.
“2,114 groups and channels related to child abuse banned on October 6. Total this month: 10,312,” the update on the channel said.
The company did not share the break up of banned groups linked or having an impact on Indian jurisdiction.
Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajiv Chandrasekhar had warned that if social media intermediaries do not act swiftly, their ‘safe harbour’ under section 79 of the IT Act would be withdrawn, implying that the platforms can be directly prosecuted under the applicable laws and rules even though the content may have not been uploaded by them.
Telegram in response to the notice said it is always committed to upholding legal and ethical standards on the platform, particularly in this case of addressing issues related to Child Pornography (CP), Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), and Rape and Gang Rape (RGR) content, in accordance with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
“When CP/CSAM/RGR content is reported, we initiate prompt actions to remove the offending material. Our average response time for removal is 10-12 hours, well within the permissible time limit of 24 hours as stipulated by the aforementioned regulations. We have a specialised team working towards removing all the illegal content that falls under the child abuse category,” Telegram said.
The company said it has employed an automated BOT system in order to maintain proactive content removal and the circulation of explicit material on its platform.
“This BOT continually scans the platform for explicit material by identifying keywords, text, pictures, and videos that violate our guidelines. Additionally, we take proactive steps to remove or block content based on user reports, ensuring that explicit material is swiftly addressed,” the company said.
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