Deadline over, Twitter, Facebook yet to comply with ethics code

New rules aim to check inflammatory content

Deadline over, Twitter, Facebook yet to comply with ethics code

Even as the deadline for social media platforms to comply with the new government regulations ended on Tuesday midnight, there is little chance of Twitter, Facebook and other companies facing an immediate blackout in India. Photo for representation only

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 25

Even as the deadline for social media platforms to comply with the new government regulations ended on Tuesday midnight, there is little chance of Twitter, Facebook and other companies facing an immediate blackout in India. Facebook today said it was working to implement operational processes and aimed to comply with the provisions of the IT rules that will come into effect from May 26.

The deadline ended in the backdrop of a scheduled meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is on a five-day visit to New York and Washington, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Most of the social media platforms are owned by US-based entities.

The social media platforms were required to abide by the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, notified on February 25. The rules suggest that significant social media companies (with more than 50 lakh users) like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and YouTube will have to comply with the ethics code.

The government wants to have “additional due diligence” to appoint a chief compliance officer for ensuring that the new rules are adhered to. It also wants a nodal contact person who will coordinate round-the-clock with law enforcement agencies weeding out any inflammatory content and a resident grievance officer to acknowledge grievances of users within 24 hours and respond to them within 15 days.

Till now, social media companies were not liable for content posted on their platforms. Once the rules kick in, the company and the three-member panel appointed by it can be held criminally liable if any objectionable content is shared over their platforms.

The social media platforms had sought an extension of the deadline. Indian social media company Koo, meanwhile, has complied with the new norms.

Fresh guidelines notified in February

Social media firms need to appoint three types of officials

1 Chief Compliance Officer: Will ensure new rules are followed

2 Nodal Officer: Will be in touch with law enforcing agencies 24x7 to remove or block any illegal or inflammatory content

3 Resident Grievance Officer: Will acknowledge grievances within 24 hours and respond to complainant in 15 days

Companies need to identify the first originator of any contentious message

Three-official panel to be liable if any illegal content is shared over their platforms

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