The Maharashtra State Cyber Cell has initiated legal action against a YouTube channel, its administrator, and a YouTube social media platform Indian representative following the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) discovery of a disturbing trend of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) on YouTube. The content involves challenges depicting potentially sexually abusive acts between mothers and their minor children.
The FIR has been filed against the YouTube Representative under various sections, including the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, section 678 of the IT Act (transmitting obscene movies), and IPC section 509 (word, gesture, or act intended to offend a woman’s modesty). Preliminary investigations by the state cyber unit revealed that the films depicting mother-child kissing were posted from Palghar.
State Cyber Cell Special Inspector General Yashasvi Yaday urged caution in social media sharing, emphasising the need for individuals to be mindful of the content they share online.
The NCPCR identified a distressing pattern of CSAM on YouTube through challenges portraying suspected sexual abuse acts involving mothers and their minor children. These films, attracting viewers, especially minors, raised serious concerns about child safety.
A particular YouTube channel named “XXXX vlogs” came under scrutiny after a video depicting a troubling situation was discovered. In one film, a woman participated in a “XXXX challenge” with her minor child. Further investigation revealed that the channel operator resides in Maharashtra, intensifying worries about the child’s health and safety.
Last week, NCPCR Chief Priyank Kanoongo summoned Mira Chatt, YouTube’s Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy in India, regarding specific videos portraying minors indecently. Chatt has been requested to appear before the Commission in person on January 15.
Expressing grave concerns, Kanoongo highlighted the alarming trend of challenges on YouTube depicting potentially indecent acts involving mothers and sons. The NCPCR chief emphasised the potential harm to children’s well-being and safety, especially considering that such videos are viewed by minors.
In response to Kanoongo’s summons, Chatt is expected to provide a comprehensive list of all indecent challenges on YouTube involving mothers and sons, along with a list of channels promoting such challenges targeting minors. The legal actions taken by the Maharashtra Cyber Cell underscore the urgency of addressing the proliferation of inappropriate content on social media platforms, especially when it involves the exploitation of minors.