Thu, 11 Aug 2022 01:45 PM IST
Google has grave reservations about developing a self-regulatory body for the social media sector in India to hear user complaints, though the proposal has support from Facebook and Twitter.
This comes after India in June suggested the appointment of a government panel to hear complaints from users about content moderation decisions, but has also said it is open to the idea of a self-regulatory body if the industry is willing.
The lack of consensus among the tech giants, however, the likelihood of a government panel being formed - a prospect that Meta Platforms Inc's Facebook and Twitter are keen to avoid as they fear government and regulatory overreach in India, sources were quoted as saying by Reuters.
At a closed-door meeting this week, an executive from Alphabet Inc's Google told other attendees the company was unconvinced about the merits of a self-regulatory body. The body would mean external reviews of decisions that could force Google to reinstate content, even if it violated Google's internal policies, the executive was quoted as saying. Such directives from a self-regulatory body could set a dangerous precedent, the sources also quoted the Google executive as saying.
The meeting was also attended by popular Indian social media platform ShareChat including representatives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google from Snap Inc. All the companies together have hundreds of millions of users in India.
Meanwhile, Snap and ShareChat also voiced concern about a self-regulatory system, saying the matter requires much more consultation including with civil society.
Google said in a statement it had attended a preliminary meeting and is engaging with the industry and the government, adding that it was "exploring all options" for a "best possible solution," as quoted by Reuters.
(With agency inputs)