The companies were to adhere to Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021 which was issued in February. They were given 3 months’ time to take the steps as mentioned in the new rules. If they fail to comply they risk losing their intermediary status and the protections that come with it. They could also face criminal charges and a ban on their operations in India.
The Government has imposed a hard rule for regulating the content uploaded over these platforms, whose deadline was 26 May 2021. Till now there is no word from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter whether they have agreed to the policies or want any relaxations.
According to the new rules they are supposed to appoint a resident grievance officer, a chief compliance officer, and a nodal contact person. They are also supposed to take measures towards complaint resolution, moderate and remove “objectionable content”. There will also be an oversight committee comprising representatives from ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Home, I&B, Law, IT, and Women and Child Development.
This committee will be empowered to stage hearings on alleged violations of the Code of Ethics as part of its “suo motu powers”. An “Authorised Officer” will also be put in charge of ordering the removal of content. So far only the Indian app Koo has taken the required steps.
We have to see what will happen next for these companies. According to my personal opinion, these companies should have something in their mind and will come up for sure, as we all know India provides the best userbase for these companies. There are many users registered on these platforms. Though Government also does the right thing in view of security and privacy. We have to see what these companies will come up with for this.