YouTube said it has so far not detected any child abuse material on the platform despite multiple and thorough probes
The platform claimed to have blocked more than 94,000 channels and over 25 Lakh videos for violating the child safety policy in Q2 2023
Earlier, MeitY issued notices to YouTube and X, formerly Twitter, to remove child abuse content hosted on their sites or risk losing safe harbour protections
Streaming platform YouTube on Monday (October 16) said it is yet to receive any evidence from the Indian government regarding the presence of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on its platform.
This comes days after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) issued notices to YouTube and X, formerly Twitter, directing the platforms to remove such content hosted on their sites or risk losing safe harbour protections.
Responding to this, YouTube said that it has so far not detected any CSAM on the platform despite multiple and thorough probes.
“We have a long history of successfully fighting child exploitation on YouTube. Based on multiple thorough investigations, we did not detect CSAM on our platform, nor did we receive examples or evidence of CSAM on YouTube from regulators,” a YouTube spokesperson said.
The streaming giant also said that no form of content that ‘endangers minors’ is allowed on YouTube. It added that the company plans to continue investing in teams and technologies that help detect the spread of such content.
The YouTube spokesperson also said that the platform is committed to working with all collaborators to curb the spread of such material. The company said it has submitted its formal response on the matter to the authorities.
The platform blocked more than 94,000 channels and over 25 Lakh videos for violating the child safety policy in the second quarter (Q2) of 2023.
YouTube Cracks The Whip
Elaborating on the steps taken to curb CSAM, the streaming major said it takes an ‘extra cautious approach’ to enforce child safety policies on YouTube. It added that it actively removes CSAM content and prohibits ‘sexually explicit content featuring minors and content that sexually exploits minors’.
The company also claims to add a warning at the top of search results with regards to specific search queries related to CSAM in the country. Besides, YouTube also claims to disable comments, restrict live features and limit recommendations for videos that could expose minors to ‘predatory attention’.
YouTube also makes its expertise and tech available to the wider industry and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to curb child sexual exploitation on its platform. The streaming major said it ‘encourages’ users and NGOs to flag content, including CSAM, via its ‘Priority Flagger’ programme.
The clarification comes on the same day as Minister of State (MoS) for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar directed YouTube to flash a disclaimer on top of ‘fake news channels’ and take appropriate legal action against such channels. In a letter, the minister is also said to have directed social media platforms, with more than 5 Mn subscribers, to formulate and submit an action note on curbing fake news and ‘unlawful contents’ within 10 days.
Earlier, Chandrasekhar said there will be zero tolerance for criminal and harmful content on the Indian internet.
This is not the first time that YouTube has landed in the crosshairs of regulators. On multiple occasions, MeitY has asked the streaming giant to ban channels and videos over issues related to public order, national security and for spreading fake news.