New digital rules: Immediately report status of compliance, Centre asks social media firms

NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday asked all large social media platforms to inform it about the status of compliance with the new digital rules that came into force today.
The IT ministry has sought details of Chief Compliance Officer and Resident Grievance Officer appointed by the platforms under the new social media rules.
In a letter, the ministry of electronics & information technology asked the organisations to submit their responses as soon as possible, preferably by today.

According to the new rules, platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will have to take down any content flagged by the authorities within 36 hours, and set up a mechanism to respond to complaints.
They will also lose the previously enjoyed immunity for content posted by any third party user on their platforms.
The only obligation on them was to take down any illegal content that they noticed on their own, or when it was highlighted to them by the state, or the courts, or any responsible/aggrieved party.
Now it’s a civil and criminal liability on them for any illegal post, be it in words, or a picture or a video.
Notably, the rules require significant social media intermediaries – providing services primarily in the nature of messaging – to enable identification of the “first originator” of the information that undermines sovereignty of India, security of the state, or public order.
This could have major ramifications for players like Twitter and WhatsApp.
Facebook and Google on Tuesday had said they are working towards meeting the compliance requirements for the new guidelines.
(With inputs from PTI)