26.Feb .2021 19:00

India imposes new rules on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube Rishi Iyengar byline

India imposes new rules on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube Rishi Iyengar byline
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India issued strict new rules on Thursday for Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and other social media platforms weeks after the country's government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down accounts it deemed incendiary.
The rules require any social media company to create three roles in India: a "compliance officer" who will ensure they follow local laws; a "grievance officer" who will address complaints from Indian users about their platforms; and a "contact person" available to Indian law enforcement 24/7. The companies will also have to publish a compliance report every month detailing how many complaints they received and what action they took.
Social media platforms will also be required to remove some types of content, including posts that feature "full or partial nudity," a "sexual act" or "impersonation including morphed images."
Large social networks, which India will define soon based on the number of users, will be given three months to comply with the policy changes, while smaller ones are expected to comply immediately, the government said.
The new rules come on the heels of a tense standoff between Twitter and the Indian government. Twitter reinstated several accounts that the government had ordered it to take down for using what it called "incendiary and baseless" hashtags related to farmers protesting against new agricultural reforms. The platform ultimately took down hundreds of accounts and partially restricted others, but drew a line by refusing to block accounts of journalists, activists and politicians.
At the same time, the rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.
"Social media is welcome to do business in India — they have done exceedingly well, they have brought good business, they have brought good number of users, and they have also empowered ordinary Indians," Ravi Shankar Prasad, India's minister for electronics and information technology, told reporters on Thursday. But he said that while the government "welcomes criticism and the right to dissent," tech companies need to do more "against the abuse and misuse of social media."
Source: CNN