New IT rules: 'We aim to comply with the provisions of the IT rules', says Facebook hours before deadline
New Delhi/IBNS: Hours before the expiry of the three-month deadline for compliance with the Intermediary Guidelines, announced by the Indian government in February, social media giant Facebook said it will comply with the new rules, media reports 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,” a Facebook spokesperson said, media reported.
According to earlier reports, if the social media companies fail to comply with the new guidelines, they would lose protection accorded to them under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act.
Section 79 provides social media intermediaries immunity from legal prosecution for content posted on their platforms.
The new guidelines notified on February 25 impose various restrictions on social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and others.
Following the implementation of these rules, the social media intermediaries will have to enable the tracing of the ‘original’ creator of a message or a tweet if directed or needed by the relevant authorities.
Reports said that this could be a major challenge for end-to-end encrypted platforms like WhatsApp.
How the social media intermediaries will implement the new guidelines is also not clear.
The new rules require social media platforms with more than 50 lakh users to have a clear mechanism to address user complaints and problems which include a appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, who shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and Rules, a 24×7 Nodal Contact Person for coordination with law enforcement agencies and a Resident Grievance Officer. All of them should be residents of India.
Social media companies will also need to provide a monthly report on how they handle user complaints and also remove any objectionable contents that harm the dignity of women and children within 24 hours.
A Mint report said that Facebook and Twitter did not say when they could comply with the new norms and what is required of them for compliance.
Facebook also did not reply to a question asking whether the platform will close following 25 May, if it hasn’t complied by then, the Mint report added.