Facebook, Instagram and Twitter face a ban in India. While it has not happened yet, the government can take a drastic step and ban these networks if the social media giants refuse to accept the new rules set by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Apart from these three platforms, India’s version of Twitter named Koo is also in the throes of this demand. All social platforms were given a three-month deadline that was to end 25 May.
If Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp Messenger do not agree to comply with the new rules, there are chances that they would have to give up their intermediary status. It is the intermediary status that relieves them of any liability for any third-party information and data hosted on their platforms.
Why Facebook Instagram, Twitter Ban in India?
The government wants social media platforms to have a more robust system of redressal that will allow them to delete ‘objectionable’ tweets within 36 days. The government has stated that social media channels operating in India do not follow any code of self-regulation. Hence, they need to appoint representatives from the various ministries and form a committee to regulate the content. This has come close to the heels of the government’s demand of Twitter to monitor tweets that talk about the government’s work in the ongoing pandemic crisis in the country.
According to the new rules set by the ministry, it is now mandatory for all social media channels to hire designated compliance officers from India. Additionally, they should follow additional due diligence and appoint a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person, and resident grievance officer. These officers will be responsible to handle complaints, monitor the content, and take necessary actions if found objectionable. The Ministry has further decided to apply the same rules to all OTT platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others.
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As per the new rules, it is the committee that will have solitary power to take necessary actions against complaints of the violation of codes. The focus of the new rules is to make provisions around voluntary verification. It also gives a 24-hour time limit for the removal of flagged content, and demands a time-bound grievance redressal mechanism, along with monthly compliance reports to be generated.
Technology experts also suggest that these platforms could decide to go to the court to fight this decision of the government.
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