The social media platforms such as Face book, twitter, Whats App, Instagram and others which hold more than 50 lakhs registered users were given a three month period of time by the Indian government. The new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, also known as the new IT Rules 2021 were released by the Indian government in February 2021. Plenty of social media users across India were wondering that whether these social media platforms would be banned.
The new IT Rules 2021 clearly states that if social media companies fail to comply with the new rules then this legal immunity will be withdrawn and digital media platforms will be part of the legal proceedings. If social media platforms fail to comply with these rules they risk losing status as social media platforms and protections as intermediaries.
Actually these rules government surveillance, banning social media content, and make a check in the user’s privacy. These new rules are added to the pre existing rules.
These rules mainly rely on the responsibility of facebook and twitter for the content expressed by the registered user on these social platforms. These rules attack your privacy by enabling tracking within encrypted services like WhatsApp. These rules are also applied for the contents displayed in OTT platforms.
The another important rule is social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to follow additional due diligence, including appointment of a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer.
The grievance officer should give the importance of public interface for complaints, provide acknowledgement system for requests. These social media platforms should also provide details of complaints received and action taken. And details of contents removed if it is inappropriate.
The companies will also be required to have a physical contact address in India provided on its website or mobile app, or both with the compliance officer as head and a team who are responsible to answer the queries.
India has 53 crore WhatsApp users, 44.8 crore YouTube users, 41 crore Facebook subscribers, 21 crore Instagram clients, while 1.75 crore account holders are on microblogging platform Twitter. It is really tough for the companies too to update to all the revised rules with a huge number of account holders in the social media in a country with one of the highest population in India.
Koo has close to 60 lakh users, making it a major social media which almost meet all the new guidelines for social media. The IT industry is not a monopoly and cannot be banned. Though the government can have a check for the contents shared in the social media but it shouldn’t intervene in the process unless and otherwise it is against the integrity or disgrace or soverignity of the nation or people. But it cannot be done just for the surveillance of government and control over social media, OTT platforms, and others.
China, Iran, North Korea, and the few other countries that have banned twitter and facebook but in India these social media companies have sought time to sort out the issues to work in the country and follow the new IT rules.