Facebook and Twitter in trouble; May Not Operate from Tomorrow

Story Highlights
  • Social media giants fail to comply with Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021
  • May face suspension of activities; freezing all accounts
  • Centre to direct content blocking

India: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram may face a ban in India if they do not comply with the new Intermediary Guidelines. The deadline for compliance with the new featuring code of ethics and a three-tier grievance redressal framework ends today.

The rules for news sites and OTT platforms were announced on February 25 under Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021. So far social media giants Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have not complied with the new rules, a government official reported. 

“If social media companies do not obey the rules, they may lose their status and protections as intermediaries and may become liable for criminal action as per the existing laws of India,” top official sources said, adding light on the failure of the firms to comply with the law. 

An oversight mechanism in the new rules stated the formation of a committee with representatives from ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Home, Information and Broadcasting, Law, IT and Women and Child Development.  The government will also designate an “Authorised Officer” who can direct the blocking of content. 

Revealing whether Facebook will comply with the rules or not, a company spokesperson said in a statement, “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. Facebook remains committed to people’s ability to freely and safely express themselves on our platform.”

However, Twitter’s presumptive judgement has triggered widespread outrage among Indian users across the country. In the latest alleged Congress toolkit controversy, Delhi Police visited Twitter India’s local offices in the National Capital on Monday after Twitter marked one of the tweets of BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as “manipulated media”. 

The US-based social media platforms gained a huge market from the Indian democracy. However, their failure to comply with the new lawsuit of the IT Department may lead to suspension of firms.

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