Twitter, Facebook and others yet to fully comply with govt guidelines

Sohini Chatterjee

The big social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and others face a threat of shutdown, as the deadline to comply with new IT rules near.

Theses platforms were required to comply with the rules notifies under the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules 2021 in the gazette of India on February 25. But all of them have failed to comply with these rules till date.

The rules of the government are to come into effect from May 26.

Social media companies are at a risk of losing their status as intermediaries and will be stripped off of all protections. Then they will be liable for criminal action as per the existing Indian laws.

Sources say that except for one Indian Social Media Company, all the others have failed to appoint a Resident Grievance Officer, a Chief Compliance Officer and a Nodal Contact person.

Koo has notified of its compliance with the new rules and said that it has made the requisite changes in its Privacy Policy, Terms of Use and Community Guidelines.

The non compliance with the rules by the social media platforms have not settled well with the government.

There have been many complaints of the Indian users registered against the tech giants like Twitter, Facebook and others, regarding the arbitrary suspensions of accounts, bigotry on social media platforms and inaction over abuses.

Facebook has notified that it is aiming to comply with the provisions of the new rules and is yet to discuss some issues with the government.

In the latest Congress toolkit controversy, the Twitter India’s local offices were visited by Delhi Police on Monday the tweet of BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s tweet was marked by Twitter as “manipulated media”.

Refusal is evident on the part of the social media companies to be transparent about their fact checking mechanisms and their tweet labeling criteria.

Significant social media intermediaries are those, whose number of registered users has crossed the threshold of 50lakh, which was set by the government. These companies have to follow additional guidelines.

The social media companies have to publish a monthly compliance report and a physical contact address in India on its website.

They are required to remove any posts containing nudity or morphed photographs within 24hours of receiving a complaint.

The significant social media intermediaries which provide messenger services are required to enable a “first originator” identification for the messages that undermines the Sovereignty of India, security of the State or Public order.

Voluntary verification of accounts should be allowed to users and they should be provided with the proper verification mark after the process is complete.

A prior intimation should be provided to the users and adequate reasons should be given before any social media intermediary takes down their content. They should also be provided with adequate opportunities to dispute against the said actions.

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