WhatsApp on Friday said it takes strict action against the dissemination of child pornography on the messaging platform as it has “no place” on the application, PTI reported. The statement came a day after the Supreme Court said that the Centre and internet stakeholders including Google, Microsoft and Facebook, had agreed to crack down on videos of rape, child pornography and “objectionable material”.
Calling child pornography vile, a WhatsApp spokesperson said, “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.”
On Thursday, the top court had said: “Everybody has agreed that the child pornography, rape and gang rape videos and objectionable material need to be stamped out. The proposed/draft standard operating procedure will be drafted on this premise.”
The court was hearing the matter related to a letter sent in 2015 to the then Chief Justice of India HL Dattu by Hyderabad-based nonprofit Prajwala, along with two rape videos in a pen-drive. The court had taken cognisance of the letter and asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to look into the case.
In October 2017, the court had asked the Centre to implement the recommendations of a court-appointed panel on blocking videos of rape and child pornography on the internet. The recommendations include setting up a hotline number for filing anonymous complaints against such videos, and a cell within the Central Bureau of Investigation to deal with such crimes.
Meanwhile, a Reuters report claimed that Union government officials met senior WhatsApp executives earlier this week to ask the firm to start tracking the origins of “fake news” spread on the messaging platform. The report quoted unidentified officials.