Reacting to the Delhi Police FIR for allegedly allowing access to child pornography, following a complaint by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Twitter says it has zero tolerance policy for child sexual exploitation.
"Twitter has a zero tolerance policy for child sexual exploitation," the microblogging platform said in its response to the FIR. "...we have a proactive approach to combating sexual exploitation of minors on our service," a Twitter spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Twitter's statement comes a day after the Delhi Police registered an FIR against the social media platform for allegedly allowing access to child pornography on the microblogging platform.
Now, reacting to the FIR filed against it, the Twitter spokesperson said, "We have been at the forefront of responding to the evolving challenge of preventing the exploitation of children on the Internet and will continue to aggressively fight online child sexual abuse, as well as invest in the technology and tools that are essential to stay ahead of this issue."
"We will continue to invest in proactive detection and removal of content that violates the Twitter Rules and work with law enforcement and NGO partners in India to tackle the issue," the spokesperson said.
Elaborating on the technology, the microblogging platform uses to prevent any such cases to happen, the spokesperson said, "We use PhotoDNA technology, our own proprietary tools, and other systems to detect behavioural signals and remove media; which also, in many cases, helps us remove new accounts linked to this type of content before they have even sent their first Tweet."
"All viewing, sharing, or linking to child sexual exploitation (CSE) material, regardless of the intent, contributes to the re-victimization of the depicted children and is prohibited on our service. This includes media, text, illustrations, or computer-generated images. This also applies to content that may further contribute to the victimization of children through the promotion or glorification of child sexual exploitation," the spokesperson said.
"For the purposes of this policy, Twitter defines a minor as any person under the age of 18," the spokesperson said.
"In 2019, we launched a feature in our search prompt that is aimed at deterrence of child sexual exploitation (CSE). The prompt was developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs and NGOs in India to blacklist specific CSE search keywords in Hindi, English, Bengali and Kannada," the spokesperson said.
The Delhi Police had filed the cases against Twitter after a complaint by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
The NCPCR, the country's apex child rights body, had asked Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell) Anyesh Roy to explain why no action had been taken against Twitter as per its letter to the Delhi Police dated May 29.
In its letter, the NCPCR had asked the Delhi Police to book Twitter on the basis of the findings of its recent inquiry in which it had found that child sexual abuse material (CSAM) was easily available on the platform.
The case has been registered under provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the IT Act, officials said.
Delhi Police Public Relations Officer Chinmoy Biswal said, "Acting on a complaint received from the NCPCR regarding the availability of child sexual abuse and child pornographic material on Twitter in the form of various accounts and links, an FIR under relevant sections of IPC, IT Act and POCSO Act has been registered by the Cyber Crime Unit, and investigation has been taken up."
The complaint was against Twitter Inc and Twitter Communication India Private Ltd, the police said.
In its May 29 letter, the NCPCR had said that it was found that "the toolkit for deep and dark web" was also available on Twitter. This gives access to all, including children, to obtain CSAM.