Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are likely to be blocked in India from the 26th of May. The most used social media platforms, which have billions of users from India are in big trouble for failing to fulfil the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY.)
On the 25th of February, the MEITY issued a set of guidelines for social media platforms and (over the top) OTT platforms. While announcing the new guidelines, the Ministry set a deadline of the 25th of May and asked these aforementioned digital platforms companies to implement the guidelines.
The new guidelines mandated firms to appoint grievance officers, disclose the first originator of the mischievous information and remove, within 24 hours, content depicting nudity or morphed pictures of women. Concerned about crimes against women and other misuses, the GoI brought a soft touch control over the use.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Information Technology Minister of Information Technology of India, while announcing the guidelines said, “There is a rationale behind framing the new guidelines. The Supreme Court had asked us to frame guidelines to cut down hate content and there are also many orders of the high courts.”
As per the new rules, social media intermediaries have to appoint a grievance officer, who should register complaints in 24 hours. The grievance redressal official must be resident in India, and monthly compliance reports would be filed by social media platforms.
Social media platforms on being asked by a court or Government would be required to disclose the first originator of the mischievous information. The guidelines would be followed by social media platforms like Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, blogs and other websites. Publishers of news and current affairs content would also be under the scrutiny of these officers.
However, despite the given three months of time, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram failed to compile the new guidelines.
Only, Koo has complied with the new guidelines. Koo is a microblogging made in India app. It was launched from Karnataka in August 2020 and was appreciated by the Central Government. It also received the Government of India’s Aatmanirbhar App Innovation challenge.
Speaking about the new guidelines, a Facebook spokesperson said, “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.”
Meanwhile, Twitter and Instagram officials are unavailable for their statement regarding the same.
In a population of 133 crores, the number of users across various platforms in India are: WhatsApp 53 crores, YouTube 44.8 crores, Facebook 41 crores, Instagram 21 crores and Twitter 1.75 crores.