A recent report by OSINT group DisInfo Lab reveals shocking details about the underbelly of micro-blogging platform Twitter, claiming that Twitter hosts not only pornographic content, but also gory videos of child pron and rape videos, which is in contravention to not only Govt policy but also Twitter’s own policies.
Twitter has a user-base of 17 million users (as of June 2021) in India, is one of the widely used micro-blogging platforms in the country, and is increasingly popular platform.
The Indian government told all the social media giants that for functioning in India they will have to comply with the laws of the country, irrespective of their own policies. Twitter has been pushing back against Indian IT laws on the pretext of ‘Freedom of Speech’.
The platform eventually, stated that it has complied with the latest IT Rules of the country. But if the DisInfo Report is to be believed, this adherence to the Indian laws is merely performative.
Disinfo Lab in its latest report has highlighted how Twitter has become the ‘porn hub’ of social media, allowing free publication and circulation of adult content in India, despite having capabilities to filter such content on the basis of geography.
While it is not clear whether Twitter is willfully ignoring the laws or it has been simply oblivious; it continues to be the hub of vulgar and pornographic content available online.
“Twitter has not only been violating the ‘law of land’, it is also not not adhering to its own policies. The social-media giant is one of the epicenters of pornographic / adult content unlike other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr.” the report stated.
“While it is not clear whether Twitter is willfully ignoring the laws or it has been oblivious; it continues to be the hub of vulgar and pornographic content available online.” the report further added.
Violating their own policies:
The latest IT Rules states that its implementation will put an end to child pornography, rape, and gang-rape imageries, videos and sites in content hosting platforms and other applications. The Rules also called for the accountability of social media platforms about the presence of pornography and spreading of fake news. Twitter also claims a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards child porn, under its anachronistically named ‘child sexual exploitation policy’.
However, these claims doesn’t seem to be fulfilled even in letter leave aside in spirit.
All kinds of adult content ranging from rape videos, child pornography, nudity and morphed pictures are still available and rampantly shared on the platform.
Another grave concern on the platform is the easy accessibility of the adult content for the under-aged users. It is like “free for all” service for the Indian social media users who without even creating account can still access explicit content. Neither there is any restriction on any age for the under 18 users for accessing pornographic content.
“It is important to mention that Twitter, like the other social media platforms, do possess technical capabilities to restrict the access of some of its content/ handle to specific geographical location. Therefore, it does not seem to be an issue of technical limitation” the report stated.
It seems like the platform’s emphasis of generating massive engagements handicaps its ability to tackle the spread of pornographic and abusive content. Therefore, it becomes imperative for the Indian government to intervene into functionaries of the platform to seek more accountability and transparency.
Twitter responds, shadowbans DisinfoLab
It seems the OSINT group DisInfo Lab had to pay a dear price for this ‘whistle-blowing’, as Twitter seems to have resorted to limiting the reach of the handle (@DisInfoLab), by putting search ban and shadow ban.
It remains to be seen how the Indian government reacts after Twitter continues to pull the strings, despite claiming to be complying with the latest IT Rules. Not only is it breaching the law of the land, it is also committing one of the most heinous cyber crimes by housing pornographic content especially child pornography.
Source: The Singapore Post