7 social media giants comply with new IT rules, Twitter dithers

The rules, the government said, are designed to prevent abuse and misuse of social media

7 social media giants comply with new IT rules, Twitter dithers

Photo for representation.

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 28

After days of faceoff with the government over the new and stringent Information Technology intermediary rules, seven social media giants on  

Friday complied with major provisions of the regulations that require the platforms to create India-based redressal mechanisms.

Top government sources said Facebook, WhatsApp, Sharechat, LinkedIn, Koo, Telegram and Google on Friday complied with the new rules and shared with the Ministry of Information Technology details of their chief compliance officer, nodal contact person, and grievance officer to address local complaints regarding unlawful messages.

Sources said Twitter had not complied yet.

“Most of the major social media intermediaries have shared the details of their chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and grievance officer with the Ministry of Electronics and IT, as required by the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. Significant social media intermediaries like Koo, Sharechat, Telegram, LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, WhatsApp have shared the details as per the requirement of the new rules. Twitter is still not in compliance,” a government source said.

Government officials added that after a firm response from the government on Thursday, Twitter sent a communication late last night sharing details of a lawyer working in a law firm in India as their nodal contact person and grievance officer. 

“But this does not tantamount to compliance. The new rules require that these designated officers of significant social media companies must be the employees of the company and residing in India. Twitter has not yet sent the details of the chief compliance officer to the ministry,” an official said.

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had yesterday clarified that the government fully recognised and respected the right of privacy of people and that ordinary users of WhatsApp had nothing to fear about the new rules.  

“The entire objective is to find out who started the message that led to commissioning of specific crimes mentioned in the rules. The obligation to reveal the first originator of an offensive message already in circulation relates only to offences relating to sovereignty, integrity and security of India, public order, rapid, child sexual abuse,” the minister said.

The new rules require the social media companies to set up an India-based grievance redressal officer, compliance officer and nodal officer so that millions of users of social media who have a grievance get a forum for its redressal.  

The rules, the government said, are designed to prevent abuse and misuse of social media.  

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