Facebook, Twitter, Instagram will be banned in India ? Why ? What are the details

The US-based social media platforms have grown huge, thanks to their massive user base and profitable revenues in democracies like India. However, none of the platforms have shown any inclination to comply with India's domestic laws. Instead, social media platforms have refused to be transparent about their fact-checking mechanism and their criteria to label tweets.

 What is the issue ?

Social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram may face a ban in India if they do not comply with the new Intermediary Guidelines.

The deadline to comply with the new legal rules meant for big social media platforms, which were issued by the government three months ago, is ending on Tuesday, threatening the operations of social media companies in India.

What are the Guidelines are we talking about ?

On February 25, the government had announced tighter regulations for social media firms like Facebook and Twitter, requiring them to remove any content flagged by authorities within 36 hours and setting up a complaint redressal mechanism with an officer being based in the country. As per new rules announced by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the social media platforms will have to appoint compliance officers from India. 

The officer will overlook the complaints, monitor the content and remove it if it is objectionable. Such rules are not only applicable to social media platforms but also to OTT platforms.

The streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime and others will have to appoint a grievance redressal officer based in India who will take care of the complaints and act on them in 15 days. The government has been of the view that social media platforms do not have a code of self-regulation. Therefore, it wants the companies to include representatives from the various ministries and form a committee to regulate the content.

Whats the risk ?

The social media companies could lose their privileges under Section 79 of the IT Act, which states that an intermediary will not be liable for any "third party information, data, or communication link made available or hosted by him." In essence, the companies could be held criminally responsible for content on their platforms

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