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Facebook and Google start blocking search keywords related to child porn

Prajwala had initially filed a petition in the Supreme Court to direct internet giants to take action and stop users from uploading porn.

  • Published: December 21, 2018 1:23 PM IST
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Internet giants Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have just started blocking “hundreds” of search keywords on their search engines that are related to child porn and sexual violence in India. The move is an attempt to curb the circulation of such content including videos and photos. This move comes right after the Supreme Court of India called out these companies for not doing enough to curb the menace of exploitation of children including child porn and sexual violence. The move to block the search keyboards from there major internet platforms is part of the recommendations that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology submitted along with the Ministry of Home Affairs.

According to a comprehensive ET report, the search engines will not return any results and instead issue a warning to the person searching that the content they are trying to search is against the law. Though, as noted in the report, the ban is not fully effective as it works on some words and it does not work on some words out of the 100 keywords that were tested. This test was done by Prajwala, a non-profit based out of Hyderabad.

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Prajwala was the same organization that had initially filed a petition in the Supreme Court to direct internet giants to take action and stop users from uploading porn. The report noted that the blocked keywords have not been made public to ensure that offenders don’t find workarounds to bypass the block. The blocked words are not limited to English and include words in Hindi and other languages.

Search keyword block will not stop offenders from uploading such content at the source, but it will stop the videos from going viral. Previously, the companies had filed an affidavit in the court stating that they were in process of implementing the ban after the court fined the Rs 1 lakh for delaying the implementation of the directive in May. In addition to this, WhatsApp was also named in a PIL and stated that it is taking steps to stop the circulation of such content.

  • Published Date: December 21, 2018 1:23 PM IST