The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Monday flagged possible child sexual abuse content on the microblogging platform Twitter and urged the central government to keep children off it “until it is safe to use”. The apex child rights body has also filed an FIR, charging the social media giant for allegedly giving false information and violating the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act.
“There are many groups of paedophiles on Twitter as well as other content relating to child sexual abuse. There are also links to the dark web. NCPCR investigated and found that over 30 inappropriate websites could be accessed through Twitter,” said chairperson Priyank Kanoongo in a video statement.
“We have written to the Centre requesting that children not be given access to Twitter until the platform is safe for them,” he added.
HT reached out to the ministry for a reaction but didn’t get a response. Twitter, too, declined to comment on the matter.
The US social media giant has been at loggerheads with the Indian government over compliance with the new social media guidelines. It is yet to share details of its compliance officer with the ministry.
Last Thursday, Twitter raised concerns about “intimidation tactics by the police” and the “core elements” of the new social media and intermediary guidelines. This has prompted a strong response from the Centre, which called the remarks an “attempt to dictate its terms”.
The exchange represents a snowballing controversy over new guidelines that direct companies such Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook to regulate content, appoint officers who will be liable for compliance, and adopt features such as traceability of messages and voluntary user verification.