Facebook group containing child sexual exploitation material taken down: IMDA, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Facebook group containing child sexual exploitation material taken down: IMDA

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Meta has taken down a Facebook page and group which contained Child Sexual Exploitation Material (CSEM) following an instruction by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to review and remove the content.

In a statement on Friday, IMDA said it also directed internet service providers in Singapore to block a website linked to the Facebook page and group, which enabled access and distribution of more CSEM content.

This is the first time IMDA has notified a social media service of such content since the Broadcasting Act was amended in February to include enhanced Online Safety requirements.

The agency had been alerted to the page, which was part of an online network facilitating the sharing of CSEM, by the police.

This led them to uncover a Facebook group carrying similar posts containing hyperlinks that led viewers to a website with more content.

“In accordance with IMDA’s collaborative and co-regulatory approach, IMDA notified Meta of the Facebook Page and Group for immediate review and action,” said the agency.

The Online Safety Act empowers IMDA to issue orders to social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, to take down egregious content.

This includes posts advocating suicide, self-harm, child sexual exploitation and terrorism, as well as materials that may incite racial or religious tensions or pose a risk to public health.

Describing the challenge of tackling harmful online content as one which “requires a whole-of-society effort”, IMDA said that social media services have a responsibility to ensure online safety for all users, especially children, even as the government continues its efforts through regulatory and public education measures.

“We recognise that the industry has taken active steps in recent years to combat harmful online content on social media, and urge social media services to remain vigilant in detecting and preventing the dissemination of harmful online content through their platforms and services,” they added.