WhatsApp said child pornography has absolutely no place on the messaging platform and that it takes action against the dissemination of such content, including banning of accounts, based on user reports. Terming child pornography as “vile”, WhatsApp said it also responds to valid legal requests from law enforcement to investigate these types of crimes.
“While we cannot see the messages that people share with one another, we can and do take action based on user reports including banning accounts,” WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement adding that child pornography has no place on the messaging platform.
The comments came as the Supreme Court Thursday said the Centre and internet giants, including Google, Microsoft and Facebook, were in agreement that videos of rape, child pornography and objectionable material needed to be “stamped out”.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit noted that intermediaries have “different reactions” to suggestions given earlier by the Centre, which included setting up pro-active monitoring tools for auto deletion of unlawful content by deploying artificial intelligence based tools.
“Insofar as the suggestions given by the Union of India as mentioned in the order dated November 28, 2018 are concerned, it appears that each of the different entities have a different reaction to them. Google and YouTube have one reaction. Facebook, Microsoft and WhatsApp each have different reactions,” the bench said in its order.
It said each of these entities would give a proposed or draft standard operating procedure (SoP) for the purpose of implementation of the suggestions given by the Centre. “Everybody is agreed that the child pornography, rape and gang rape videos and objectionable material need to be stamped out. The proposed/draft SoP will be drafted on this premise,” the bench said.
The Centre last month suggested to the court that the intermediaries should deploy trusted flaggers for identifying and deletion of unlawful content and also set up of 24X7 mechanism for dealing with requisitions of law enforcement agencies. It also suggested that there should be prompt disposal of requisitions of law enforcement agencies to remove unlawful contents.