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‘Danger of action’ on social media companies for not following rules

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Ground Report | New Delhi: For social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, a situation of deadlock seems to be arising due to the rules brought by the Government of India. To follow these rules, the government had set a deadline of three months, which will end today. But there are reports that most companies have not yet followed these rules.

On 25 February this year, the Government of India announced a law to make regulations regarding social media, OTT, digital platforms. The government had said that social media companies would have to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person and a Resident Grievance Officer.

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After this, some companies had sought six months’ time from the government, while what many companies have done in this regard has become public. There is a discussion that the rights given to companies which do not follow these rules can be withdrawn and legal action can be taken against them.

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This can have serious consequences, including losing legal immunity. In simple terms, anyone who is unhappy with the content on these platforms can take both the person or the organization – the person who posts the content — and the social media company to court. The status of “intermediary” provided these platforms a layer of legal protection.

The guidelines were announced on 25 February by MeitY Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar. At a joint press conference, the two had clearly stated that the deadline for important social media companies to follow the rules would expire in three months.

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