IT Rules 2021: In Sly Dig on Twitter, the minister’s major praise for Facebook and Google

Unions Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad described leading social media giants such as Google, Facebook and Instagram on Saturday as a “major step towards transparency” for the publication of their first report on compliance with voluntary removal requirements of “unpleasant publications” as part of state IT rules. the new one.

According to the new IT rules 2021, which came into effect on May 26, all major social media platforms with more than 5 million users must publish regular compliance reports every month, detailing the details of complaints received against platform content and steps taken. cut.

On Twitter, Prasad said: “It’s great to see major social media platforms like Google, Facebook and Instagram following the new IT rules. The first published report on compliance with the voluntary removal of inappropriate publications under IT rules is a major step towards transparency. ”

The publication of compliance reports by Google, Facebook and Instagram is likely to intensify discussions on Twitter, which has been at odds with the Indian government over the new social media rules.

The government has spoken out against Twitter for its willful disobedience and failure to comply with the country’s new IT rules, as well as for not hiring the necessary staff, resulting in the loss of “Safe Harbor” immunity. Facebook announced Friday that it “traded” more than 30 million pieces of content in 10 infringing categories in the country between May 15 and June 15 when the social media giant released its first monthly compliance report, defined by the rules.

For Instagram, 2 million pieces of content played across nine categories between May 15 and June 15. “Traded” content refers to the amount of content (e.g., posts, photos, videos, or comments) that contains infringement. Actions may include removing some content from Facebook or Instagram, or masking photos or videos, disturbing some viewers with warnings.

Google said that as of April this year, 27,762 complaints were received from Google and YouTube from individual users in India about alleged violations of local laws or privacy rights, resulting in the removal of 59,350 content. In his report, Koo said that he actively moderated 54,235 content, while users reported 5,502 posts in June.

In addition to the monthly publication of regular compliance reports, regulations also require disclosure of the number of communication links or certain information that have been removed or rejected by intermediaries due to proactive monitoring using automated tools. According to IT rules aimed at limiting gross abuse and abuse of the platform, the main social media intermediaries must appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal and Complaints Officer, and these employees must reside in India.

Failure to comply with IT rules will result in these platforms losing their intermediary status and relieve them of responsibility for the third party data they host. Facebook recently appointed Spoorthi Priya as its complaints officer in India.

India is an important market for global digital platforms. According to government figures cited by the government earlier this year, India has 53 million WhatsApp users, 41 million Facebook subscribers, 21 million Instagram subscribers, while 1.75 million account holders are on the microblogging platform Twitter. The real burden on Twitter is under government scrutiny – the microblogging platform has failed to comply with new rules known as mediation guidelines, which govern the establishment of strong complaints mechanisms and the appointment of staff to coordinate with law enforcement agencies.

Twitter recently identified California-based Jeremy Kessel on the platform’s website as India’s complaints officer – although the appointment does not meet the requirements of the new IT rules, which clearly require key employees, including whistleblowers, to reside in India. It should be noted that Twitter has lost its legal protection as an intermediary in India and is responsible for users posting illegal content.

Amid a conflict with the government over compliance with the new IT rules, the Twitter website showed a fake map of India on Monday, showing Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as separate countries. Twitter removed the faulty card at a later date after facing backlash from the network.