Operation of social media platform Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter may stop in India from May 26 if they do not comply with the new rules made in February 2021. Only social media platform koo has complied with the guidelines.
The government of India provided three months to comply with the guidelines. The deadline to accept the guidelines will end today, but none of the social media platforms, including Whatts app, Twitter, or Facebook, followed the guidelines.
All these companies will face a ban in India. They will also lose status and protections as intermediaries, and criminal action can be taken against them as per the laws of India, a government official said in a statement.
In response, US-based companies had asked for a six-month time limit. They are waiting for a response from the US headquarters.
A spokesperson from Facebook stated, “We aim to comply with the provisions of the IT rules and continue to discuss a few of the issues which need more engagement with the government. According to the IT rules, we are working to implement operational processes and improve efficiencies. Facebook remains committed to people’s ability to freely and safely express themselves on our platform.“
According to the new rules, social media companies need to appoint compliance officers from India. These officers will overlook the complaints monitor the content, and remove it if it is objectionable. Such rules are not only applicable to social media platforms but also OTT platforms.
Ott platforms, including Netflix, amazon prime, Hotstar, and others, will have to appoint a grievance redressal officer based in India who will take care of the complaints and act on them in 15 days. The government has said that social platforms do not have a code of self-regulation. Therefore, it wants the companies to include representatives from the various ministries and form a committee to regulate the content.
The new rules also mention that the committee will have the sole power to take action on complaints of the violation of codes. The Twitter spokesperson said they keep their fact-checkers that neither identifies nor reveal how the facts are being investigated.
“I think a mid-way needs to be figured out. While Facebook, Twitter, and other such platforms must comply with the law of the land, these platforms should not be taken off. These are integral and play a significant role as well. We recently saw how Twitter became the SOS helpline as the cases were on the rise during the second wave. Similarly, how Facebook is helping small-time businesses to go digital almost free of cost. A small-time shopkeeper doesn’t even need to think of creating a website, can have a product catalog on the Facebook page and go hybrid in the present situations where we have restricted mobility,” Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, TechArc told Times Now