Wed, 26 May 2021 12:08 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As the three-month deadline provided by the Centre to social media platforms in India to comply with the new guidelines ends, the new IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, come into effect from today. The Centre had introduced the new IT rules in February which stated that all social media platforms, having more than 50 lakh registered users, get categorised as large social media platforms. The rules direct the social media platforms to appoint a grievance redressal mechanism as part of a larger grievance redressal mechanism, active monitoring of content on the platform, monthly compliance reports for Indian users and self-regulation mechanisms.
As the deadline of compliance ended today, there is a sense of panic among users of social media as they are wondering whether the non-compliance by the major social media firms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter will lead them to a ban in India. Amid the confusion regarding the new rules here's all you need to know about the new IT Rules 2021:
New IT Rules 2021:
-On February 25, the Centre framed the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, in the exercise of powers under section 87 (2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and in supersession of the earlier Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011, which will come into effect from May 26.
-The new guidelines issued by the government of India mandated a grievance redressal system for over the top (OTT) and digital portals in the country. The government had said that though it welcomes criticism and the right to dissent, "but it is very important for the users of social media to have a forum to raise their grievance against the misuse of social media."
-Under the new guidelines, there'll be two categories, intermediary which can be social media intermediary and significant social media intermediary. They will have to have a grievance redressal mechanism, you will also have to name a grievance officer who shall register the grievance within 24 hours and disposal in 15 days.
-The government had said that if there are complaints against the dignity of users, particularly women - about exposed private parts of individuals or nudity or sexual act or impersonation etc - they will be required to remove that within 24 hours after a complaint is made.
-As per the guidelines, first, the social media platforms will have to have a chief compliance officer residing in India responsible for ensuring compliance with the act and the rules. Second is a nodal contact person who should reside in India for 24X7 coordination with law enforcement agencies.
-Also, they have to appoint a resident grievance officer who shall perform the grievance redressal mechanism as indicated. They also will have to publish a monthly report about the number of complaints received and the status of redressal.
Facebook's response on Govt's new IT Rules:
Facebook has said it aims to comply with the provisions of IT rules and will continue to discuss the few issues "which need more engagement" with the government. In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said the social media platform remains committed to people's ability to "freely and safely express" themselves on its platform. "We aim to comply with the provisions of the IT rules and continue to discuss a few of the issues which need more engagement with the government. Pursuant to the IT rules, we are working to implement operational processes and improve efficiencies," said a Facebook spokesperson.
WhatsApp's response on new IT Rules:
Despite the fact that WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, the messaging app on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court against the Centre's IT Rules that would require the messaging services to "trace" the origin of particular messages sent on the service. WhatsApp through its statement said, "Requiring messaging apps to 'trace' chats is the equivalent of asking us to keep a fingerprint of every single message sent on WhatsApp, which would break end-to-end encryption and fundamentally undermines people's right to privacy."
Twitter's response on new IT Rules:
Micro-blogging site Twitter has been in a war-of-words with the Central government for the last few days. However, the social media platform has not revealed or given an official statement about whether it has complied with the new IT rules 2021 or not.
Google's response on new IT Rules:
Google has also assured the Indian government of its continuing efforts to ensure legal compliance and cited its long history of managing content according to local laws. "We respect India's legislative process and have a long history of responding to government requests to remove content where the content violates the local law or our product policies. We have consistently invested in significant product changes, resources, and personnel to ensure that we're combating illegal content in an effective and fair way, and in order to comply with local laws in the jurisdictions that we operate in," a Google spokesperson said on Tuesday. Google's statement covers all its products including YouTube.