As the deadline to comply with
the latest intermediary guidelines ended on May 25, the GoI on May 26 wrote to
social media giants to revert if they had complied with the new digital rules
that came into effect today.
The Centre has asked all the social media platforms to share their response “ASAP, preferably today.”
It may be noted here that social media giants like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter were given the three-month time to accept the new rules that ask them to appoint a compliance officer in India, nodal officer, and a grievance officer to remove any flagged content with 36 hours of a legal order.
In a letter issued to the social media platforms, the Ministry of Electronics and IT asked the companies to give information on the status of compliance and emphasized, “Please confirm and share your response ASAP and preferably today itself.”
Under the new rules, the tech companies have to give the name and contact details of a chief compliance officer, a nodal contact person, a resident grievance officer, and a physical address of the company in India. These officers will have to set up a grievance redressal mechanism to respond to complaints.
These latest norms will also allow officers to trace the first originator of information found to “undermine the sovereignty of India, security of the state, or public order.”
Apparently, now the social media companies will no longer enjoy the status of intermediaries that give them legal immunity from objectionable content posted by users. From now on, they will be treated as just a normal publishing platform and can face a legal action.
It may be noted here, Facebook and Google have said they will ensure compliance. Moreover, Facebook has also stated that it wants to discuss some "issues which need more engagement".
On the other hand, Twitter has not responded to the new storm yet as it is engulfed in the "Congress toolkit" tweet controversy.