Parliament Panel Wants A Fix To Porn Problem On Social Media

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Bengaluru: A parliamentary committee formed to study the prevalence of adult pornography and child abuse videos on social media platforms has questioned Twitter and Google on how they will curb children’s access to such content.

The committee, headed by Congress Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh, is studying the “alarming issue” of pornography on social media and its effect on children and society.

Formed in December 2019, the committee has so far met representatives of Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Google and ShareChat, according to a report in Economic Times.

According to sources, the committee had asked Twitter last week about its policy on allowing pornography on its platform. On its part, Twitter clarified that it only allowed consensual pornography and didn’t permit revenge porn and child abuse content.

The panel also asked Google as to what it was doing to limit discovery of pornography on its search engine and video platform YouTube. Google is believed to have replied that login details were required to discover adult content on YouTube, the sources said.

Twitter suggested to the committee that the industry and government should take a “constructive” approach to educate teenagers on how to make their online experience pleasant, positive and safe. According to the sources,  Share-Chat, which also made its submissions before the panel, called for regulations to provide contractual protection to the digital interactions of young adults and said India could look at a framework such as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) framed by the US.

The panel will present a report with a set of suggestions on legislative and regulatory changes.

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