Internet live-streaming platform operators need to offer more surveillance and control tools to allow regulators to act in a timely manner should illegal activities take place, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lee Li-fen (李麗芬) said on Tuesday.
Lee’s call came after the Taipei-based nonprofit Child Welfare League Foundation on Monday published the results of a survey that found that of the nation’s 150 most popular live-streaming anchors, 29, or 19.3 percent, were younger than 18, with the youngest only 11.
The central government should more strictly regulate live streaming, as it has broad negative affects on children, National Alliance of Parents’ Organizations chairman Wu Fu-pin (吳福濱) said.
Wanting to make friends online could be dangerous for younger anchors with larger groups of online fans, as some live-stream viewers have reportedly asked girls to undress, foundation executive director Chen Li-ju (陳麗如).
Lee said that underage female live-streaming anchors have been blackmailed with nude pictures of themselves taken while they were broadcasting.
On Facebook, users can report live-streaming channels if they contain nudity or other inappropriate behavior, but whether that feature is built into the social network’s mobile app is unknown and worrisome, she said.
Legislation to classify apps into separate categories would be hard to enforce, Lee said, citing as an example many Facebook users being younger than 13, the minimum age to open an account.
Any attempt to persuade an underage live-streaming anchor to undress and record such activity is a direct violation of the Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Prevention Act (兒童及少年性剝削防制條例), she added.
Ministry of Health and Welfare official Chang Hsiu-yuan (張秀鴛) warned that young people live streaming run the risk of breaking the law if their pictures, shared videos or other content do not follow regulations.
The National Communications Commission said people can submit reports of apparently illegal live-streaming channels on the Institute of Watch Internet Network’s Web site.
Police or local social welfare authorities can also be contacted if the contents of live-streaming channels appear to violate the Criminal Code or the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法), the commission said.
Additional reporting by Lin Hui-chin and CNA
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