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Government moderation of social media content is legitimate scrutiny: Ajit Mohan

Facebook India chief executive Ajit Mohan said the Indian government’s decision to formulate content moderation rules for social media was a legitimate scrutiny. He also said the social media giant has immense respect for Indian laws.

The government had recently notified the 2021 IT rules (Intermediate Directives and Code of Ethics for Digital Media) which place social media, digital news and video streaming platforms within the regulatory framework. For social media platforms, the rules require identification of the source of malicious messages, removal of illegal content, a voluntary user verification mechanism, and a three-tier grievance mechanism, among others.

“We absolutely respect local laws. For me, it’s not one or the other. The fact that we obey local laws is a given and is not negotiable, ”Mohan said, according to media reports.

Mohan also said that Facebook and its group platforms WhatsApp and Instagram are seeking to address concerns over inflammatory and illegal content.

“We’re constantly trying to raise the bar to make sure we’re addressing concerns, including those we’ve heard from governments around the world and from India, about the type of content that is on our platforms. We want to limit and eliminate content related to violence, content related to hate speech or content calling for violence in the field. Our agenda is aligned, ”he said.

Finding the right balance between freedom of expression and security is an extremely complex issue, said Mohan. “These are two important programs for a company like ours and a country like ours. We want to make sure that the web of free speech is as wide as possible, including what is described in the Indian constitution. At the same time, there will be places where there will be limits to this speech, for example when it comes to hate speech. “

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