Facebook, Google working on complying with social media rules as deadline looms. With just hours to go before the new IT law for telecommunications companies comes into effect, major digital forums Facebook and Google on Tuesday confirmed they are working to meet compliance requirements.
The new rules, announced on February 25, require major social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to follow other hard work, including the appointment of a law enforcement chief, a liaison officer and a resident complaints officer.
‘Key social media mediators’ – defined as having more than 50 registered lakh users – have been given three months to comply with additional requirements.
Non-compliance may result in these media companies losing their status of arbitrator which provides a clear exemption and protection against debt for any third party information and data held by them. In other words, they can be responsible for something.
A Google spokesman said the company has been investing in significant changes in products, resources and employees to ensure it combats illegal content in an efficient and just manner, and complies with local laws in its operations.
The speaker said that they realize that their task of keeping our platforms secure has never been done and we will continue to improve our existing systems, change our policies and be as clear as possible about how we make decisions.
A Facebook spokesman noted that the company is working to implement operational procedures and aims to comply with the provisions of IT regulations.
The social media giant – which also has a photo-sharing platform Instagram – said it was continuing to discuss “a few issues that need more dialogue” with the government.
Facebook and Google, however, did not specify the new level of compliance encountered since Tuesday.
However, according to sources close to the development, Facebook has put in place arrangements for voluntary verification, a 24-hour timeline to remove nudity content, etc. and set a timetable and process for resolving complaints.
The process continues to comply with requirements such as compliance reports and the appointment of a compliance chief executive officer, a liaison officer and a resident complaints officer.
Notably, Twitter did not comment on its compliance status.
The microblogging platform was launched by the government recently after it included ‘media used’ in tweets by BJP leaders on the alleged tool used by the Opposition to target the institution with its Covid-19 administration.
Responding to Twitter on the matter, the government, last week asked the microblogging forum to remove the marker, saying the social media platform could not rule on the matter under investigation.
There have been no immediate comments from WhatsApp about IT rules.
Koo has an estimated six million users (60 lakh), making it a major communications coordinator under the new guidelines.
Recently, various industry organizations, including the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the US-India Business Council (USIBC), have written to the government demanding a one-year extension to comply with the law, especially in view of the epidemic.
Sources at the IT department said that the appointment of a grievance officer would be a key requirement from the first day of the coming into force, given the importance of public communications for complaints, as well as the need for an application for approval process.
On February 25, the government had announced strict rules for telecommunications companies, which required them to remove any content flagged by the authorities within 36 hours and establish a strong grievance redressal mechanism with the country’s official.
Important telecommunications companies will be required to publish a monthly compliance report disclosing details of complaints received and actions taken, as well as content details removed accordingly.
According to government-targeted data, India has 53 crore WhatsApp users, 44.8 crore YouTube users, 41 crore subscribers, 21 crore Instagram users, while 1 account holders , 75 crore was a microblogging speaker on Twitter.
The new rules have been introduced to make social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram – which have had a huge increase in usage over the past few years in India – are more responsive and responsive to content stored on their platform.
Telecommunications companies will have to remove any nude posting material or images that are covered within 24 hours of receiving the complaint.
Significantly, the laws require key communications mediators – to provide services especially in the form of messages – to enable the identification of the “first founder” of information that undermines Indian sovereignty, state security, or public order.
This can be of great benefit to players like Twitter and WhatsApp.
The rules also state that users who voluntarily want to verify their accounts must be given the appropriate method to do so, and be given a visible sign of verification.