Pushing further rigid norms for the social media intermediaries in place, the Union government has fixed fifty lakh registered users as the threshold for defining ‘significant social media intermediary’, that will fall in the ambit of the new IT code and will hence have to comply with the new government guidelines.
Social media companies with over fifty lakh users will have to adhere to additional obligations and compliance under the new IT rules. The new set of rules, announced last month seek stringent action against social media giants over failing to comply with new IT rules.
The Union government has cleared its intentions following the announcement of new IT norms. Earlier the social media companies and the Union government were at loggers head over non-compliance of government requests to block some of the social media accounts following violent protests at the Red Fort on Republic Day.
The new norms require the social media companies to follow additional due diligence processes, including the appointment of a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer. All three officials will have to reside in India.
The companies will have to publish a monthly compliance report and details of the contents removed proactively. At present, the country has 53 crore WhatsApp users, 44.8 crore YouTube users, 41 crore Facebook subscribers, 21 crore Instagram users and over 1.75 crore Twitter users.
“The Central Government hereby specifies fifty lakh registered users in India as the threshold for a social media intermediary to be considered a significant social media intermediary,” the government notification said.
According to the Union government, the new IT guidelines will make tech social media giants including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram more accountable.
Also as per new norms, the social media companies will have to remove contentious content flagged by the government or court orders within 36 hours and take down posts depicting nudity or morphed photos within 24 hours of receiving a complaint, as per the latest intermediary rules.
Also, social media platforms on being asked by the court or government will be required to disclose the first originator of the mischievous information that undermines the sovereignty of India, security of the state, or public order.