What Are The New Digital Rules For Social Media Drafted By Centre?

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Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google will have to submit their responses to the new digital rules for social media.

On Wednesday, the Indian government asked all the major social media platforms to inform about their status in compliance with the new digital rules. These rules came into force on May 26.

These digital rules for social media were released in February 2021, and all social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were given three months to comply. Today was the last day for these tech companies to comply with the new rules.

What are the new digital social media rules?

The new guidelines have demanded a larger grievance redressal mechanism. This means that a Chief Compliance Officer, a Nodal Contact Person and a Resident Grievance Officer will have to be appointed by tech giants. All the social media platforms in India will have to publish all the details regarding the same, on their apps and websites.

These platforms will also have to explain to users the exact mechanism of making a complaint against any kind of content being put out on their platforms. These complaints will have to acknowledge within a span of 24 hours and will have to be acted upon within 15 days from the date of receipt.

“The primary consequence of non-compliance with Rule 4 of the IL Rules would be that significant social media intermediary (SSMIs) would end up losing the safe harbour protection granted to them under Section 79 of the IT Act. This could open up a plethora of unpleasant possibilities. It could leave Intermediaries open to incurring liability (civil as well as criminal) for the acts done by third-party users,” said Prasanth Sugathan, Legal Director at Software Freedom Law Centre.

Section 79 of the IT Act gives digital media platforms, immunity against liability of posts being made on their platforms, third party information, etc. However, this will be withdrawn if these platforms don’t agree to comply with the rules.

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