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Social Media Companies Yet To Comply The New Guidelines

Social Media platforms may get in trouble if they do not comply with the new social media guidelines by May 25.

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On 25 February this year, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) gave all social media companies three months’ time to follow the new set of guidelines.  

To put this in perspective, Social media companies were asked to appoint Compliance Officers, Nodal Officers in India, and all of them were required to be residing in India. There are rules for complaint resolution, monitoring of objectionable content, compliance report, and removal of objectionable material, etc. 

After three months, the deadline is going to be completed on May 26, but so far no company has reportedly adhered to the rules except for the company named Koo. 

Moreover, the rules also made it compulsory for Social media intermediaries to give information about the Compliance Officers and Nodal Officers on their website or mobile app. So far, no company has appointed any of these officers. 

“We aim to comply with the provisions of the IT [Information Technology] 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,” a Facebook spokesperson said. 

The statement came a day after electronics and information technology ministry officials warned of stern action in case of non-compliance with the new guidelines. 

Similarly, the OTT platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime as well as digital news publishers to appoint a grievance redressal officer based in India. The officer will be responsible for addressing the complaints and act on them within 15 days. 

What If Intermediaries Failed To Comply With The Guidelines? 

Social media companies are exempted from liability as an intermediary under Section 79 of the IT Act, but many of them are deciding on the subject matter, which does not take care of the Indian constitution and laws. If these companies do not follow these rules, their intermediary status can be snuffed out and they may come under criminal action under the existing laws of India. 

According to the guidelines, the intermediaries are required to appoint compliance officers, “responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and rules” and be “liable in any proceedings relating to any relevant third-party information, data, or communication link made available or hosted by that intermediary where he fails to ensure that such intermediary observes due diligence while discharging its duties under the Act”. 

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