Will Facebook, Twitter, Instagram be banned in India? Check new IT Rules, Regulations and Penalties 2021
New Delhi, May 25: It is a crucial moment for the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as they may face a ban in India if they do not comply with new Information Technology Rules 2021 notified by the government by May 26.
Except Koo, the Indian version of Twitter, none of the social media giants have complied with the new guidelines ahead of the May 25 deadline. If they fail to comply with the new rules, the social media giants may lose their status and protections as intermediaries and criminal action can be taken against them as per the laws of India.
Information Technology (Guidelines for intermediaries and digital media ethics code) Rules, 2021 were notified by the ministry on February 25 for social media intermediaries such as Twitter and Facebook, and over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon.
New IT Rules, Regulations and Penalties 2021 to be followed by social media platforms
Appoint a Chief Compliance Officer who shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and Rules. Such a person should be a resident in India.
Appoint a Nodal Contact Person for 24x7 coordination with law enforcement agencies. Such a person shall be a resident in India.
Appoint a Resident Grievance Officer who shall perform the functions mentioned under Grievance Redressal Mechanism. Such a person shall be a resident in India.
Publish a monthly compliance report mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken on the complaints as well as details of contents removed proactively by the significant social media intermediary.
Significant social media intermediaries providing services primarily in the nature of messaging shall enable identification of the first originator of the information that is required only for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of an offence related to sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, or public order or of incitement to an offence relating to the above or in relation with rape, sexually explicit material or child sexual abuse material punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years. Intermediary shall not be required to disclose the contents of any message or any other information to the first originator.
Significant social media intermediary shall have a physical contact address in India published on its website or mobile app or both.
Voluntary User Verification Mechanism: Users who wish to verify their accounts voluntarily shall be provided an appropriate mechanism to verify their accounts and provided with demonstrable and visible mark of verification.
Giving Users An Opportunity to Be Heard: In cases where significant social media intermediaries removes or disables access to any information on their own accord, then a prior intimation for the same shall be communicated to the user who has shared that information with a notice explaining the grounds and reasons for such action. Users must be provided an adequate and reasonable opportunity to dispute the action taken by the intermediary.
Removal of Unlawful Information: An intermediary upon receiving actual knowledge in the form of an order by a court or being notified by the Appropriate Govt. or its agencies through authorized officer should not host or publish any information which is prohibited under any law in relation to the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, friendly relations with foreign countries etc.