In the midst of a fight with social media companies over new IT regulations, the government won a crucial victory on Friday, as top players like Google, Facebook and WhatsApp met the statutory authorities ( have agreed to appoint officers in line). The twitter, which had so far refused to follow the rules, proposed a lawyer working in a law company, although the government summarily rejected it because they did not conform to the guidelines.
Friday saw a change as most companies expressed a desire to start complying with a portion of the provisions. LinkedIn (owned by Microsoft), Telegram, Google, Facebook and WhatsApp shared the details of their Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer with the Ministry of IT.
Having these officers is a mandate under the IT (Intermediate Guidelines and Digital Media Code of Conduct) Rules, 2021, which was announced on February 25 this year, even as Indians like Ku (Twitter’s local rival) and Sharechat Companies have also made appointments.
Under the new rules, this person must be an employee of a social media company, who is working in India. Sources said that most of the big social media forums have shared the details of the Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer with the IT Ministry.
Twitter, however, has alleged that it has been forced to “withhold” (block in India) portions of “legitimate free speech” on its platform over fears around the safety of its employees and threats of financial penalties.
Social media intermediary units such as Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Koo, Sharechat, Telegram and LinkedIn have shared details with the ministry as per the new rules. But Twitter is still not complying with these rules.