Center social media platforms on digital rules
On Wednesday, the government wrote to major social media platforms asking whether they had complied with the new digital rules taking effect that day and asked for their response “As soon as possible, preferably today”.
Platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter were given three months to comply with new rules that require them to appoint a compliance officer in India, set up a complaints response mechanism and remove content within 36 hours. according to a legal order.
The notice from the Ministry of Electronics and Computing asked companies to provide information on the status of compliance and stressed: “Please confirm and share your response as soon as possible and preferably today itself” .
Companies must provide the name and contact details of a compliance officer, a nodal contact person, a resident grievance officer and a physical address of the company in India.
The new rules require sites to put in place a mechanism to respond to complaints and also make it possible to trace the “first author” of information found to “undermine India’s sovereignty, state security or public order”.
“Major social media intermediaries”, or large sites that host third-party information, messages and posts, risk losing their protection from lawsuits and lawsuits if they fail to follow the rules.
This means that big tech companies can no longer be mere intermediaries, which has given them legal immunity from objectionable content posted by users. They will be treated like any other publishing platform and may face lawsuits.
WhatsApp went to court against the rules, saying it would be forced to trace the origin of messages and break user privacy protections.
Facebook and Google said they would ensure compliance. Facebook also says it wants to discuss some “issues that require more engagement.”
Twitter has yet to comment; he is caught up in the ‘Congress Toolbox’ tweets controversy and finds himself on the radar of the Delhi government and police for calling a BJP leader’s post a ‘manipulated media’.