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95% Increase In Child Porn Search On PornHub Points To A Chilling Indian Reality

Posted: April 16, 2020

Child porn is illegal in India, but trends reported by PornHub (which has offered ‘free access’ during lockdown) show 95% increase in child porn search. 

The India Child Protection Fund (ICPF)) set up in January 2020 by Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s son Bhuvan Ribhu has released a report titled “Child Sexual Abuse Material in India” which shows about 95% increase in child porn search from March 24- March 26 amid lockdown.

*Trigger alert: child sexual abuse

This report shows some dangerous trends amongst child pornography itself.

Demand for more ‘violence’

“While all child pornography is violent, 18 percent individuals exhibited explicit intent for videos where children were choking, bleeding, tortured, in pain or screaming,” said the report. “The demand for this kind of content grew as much as 200% during the project duration. This indicates that Indian men are not ‘satisfied’ with generic child pornography and demand violent and exploitative content.”

The report includes trends of child porn search from 100 Indian cities that include New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Indore and others.

Even though India has banned many pornography sites, it continues to be one of the largest contributor and consumer of pornographic materials especially child pornographic materials.

Earlier this year the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) along with US based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) also released a report showing over 25000 cases of child sexual abuse material being uploaded in social media platforms alone over the courses of 5 months ending in January 2020.

Possible threat to kids stuck at home

This clearly shows that India had a dangerous child pornography addiction even before the lockdown. Now with the lockdown it has increased drastically. This is scary because many data have showed that the majority of child sexual predators are family members or known family friends. This puts the children who are living in lockdown under a dangerous threat. This also indicates that India has a large number of potential pedophiles, and many of them might have access to children during the isolation period.

ICPF has flagged this ‘high demand’ as a threat to children who are stuck at home due to lockdown. Some people are also concerned that these sexual predators have migrated online towards social media and are luring young children through it.

The reasons for the spike in child porn search could be more leisure time during lockdown to lack of access to offline child abuse. But we have to admit India has a big child pornography problem and it needs to be addressed in a much comprehensive manner. the govt has taken many steps over the year, but most of them have proven to be ineffective.

Why this child porn search is horrifying

Possession and consumption of child pornography how is a major crime punishable with imprisonment, but the larger, more crucial reason for the crackdown against it is the link it has with actual sexual abuse of children and child trafficking.

The problem with child sexual abuse is the lack of official complaints against it. The victims here are children, who are easy to scare, manipulate and are inherently submissive to elders. Sometimes they don’t even understand the depth of injustice being done to them.

Another major reason is even when parents find out about such atrocities they don’t report it to avoid ‘ruining family reputation’. This is why reports by various government and non-government organisation are derived from data on online activities, as a person watching or distributing child pornography is more likely to produce and partake in such activities in real life as well.

How can we deal with this scourge?

But this leads to the much larger and crucial question which is how do you minimise and control this heinous practice? If banning porn was the solution, then why hasn’t it worked yet?

Rape videos, non-consensual sex tapes from hotels, violent and bloody sex clips and child pornography material are still being made and circulated throughout the internet. How is the govt supposed to regulate something that isn’t even legal to begin with?

India still remains world’s third biggest porn consumer. India needs to figure out and separate the healthier, non threatening (consensual and safe) porn consumers from the ones who are producing and consuming criminal content. Banning porn altogether (which has failed repeatedly in the past and has been opposed by the SC itself) is nothing but sweeping the entire issue under the rug.

Meanwhile we would advise you to ensure your children are surrounded by trustworthy people and even then, a healthy amount of distrust is recommended. Also ensure parental control on the internet, especially for your pre-teens and early teens children.

Image source: shutterstock

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Test Note

Asefa writes about the lives of women in smaller towns of India. Her interest include

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