What’s Next for Facebook, Twitter and other platforms?

Koo App having a smile while Govt tightens noose on Facebook and Twitter.

TNI Bureau: A dispute appears to be on the cards just a day before the May 26 deadline for social media behemoths like Twitter and Facebook to implement steps mandated by the Centre in new guidelines.

None of these organization has named a chief nodal officer or sufficient grievance redressal mechanisms, which are both mandated by the new guidelines according to government reports. If the new Intermediary Guidelines are not followed, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram may face a ban in India.

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On February 25, the government issued new regulations for social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter, ordering them to eradicate any posts flagged by authorities within 36 hours and establishing a complaint redressal mechanism with a local official.

The government has set a threshold of 50 lakh registered users for identifying a “significant social media intermediary,” which would have to subject to additional obligations and compliance under new IT rules aimed at combating social media site exploitation.

Section 79 of the IT Act specifies that an intermediary (these companies) will not be accountable for any “third party information, data, or communication link made available or hosted by him.” In other words, the firms may be found legally liable for the material that appears on their websites.

According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s latest regulations, social media companies must nominate enforcement officers from India. The officer will take care of the complaints, keep an eye on the material, and delete it if it is offensive. These principles apply not only to social media sites but also to OTT platforms.

Koo, a local microblogging website, announced on Saturday that it had fulfilled the latest rules for digital platforms’ enforcement criteria ahead of the deadline later this month.

Platforms will be required to post a monthly compliance report and proactively delete specifics of the contents. According to government statistics, India has 53 crore WhatsApp users, 44.8 crore YouTube subscribers, 41 crore Facebook subscribers, 21 crores Instagram users, and 1.75 crore Twitter users. The new guidelines were put in place to make social media sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Instagram, which have seen a massive increase in usage in India over the last few years, more transparent and liable for the content they host.

When asked by the court or the judiciary, social media sites will have to remove posts showing nudity or morphed images within 24 hours of receiving a lawsuit, and they will have to reveal the first source of the malicious content that threatens India’s sovereignty, state security, or public order.

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