Social Media Platforms Have To Remove Content Within 36 Hours: Govt of India

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will have to remove content as soon as possible, but not later than 36 hours, after a government passed a legal order, according to new Information Technology rules released on February 25, 2021.

Social Media platforms to remove their content within 36 hours on Govt of India order

These companies must also have to inform and help with investigations within 72 hours of a request from the authorities. – Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

All platforms must remove content that sees an individual in a sexual act or conduct, or in full or partial nudity, within 24 hours of receiving a the complaint.

Along with these new rules, Govt. of India joins other various nations that are looking forward to regulating Big Tech firms. In India, Twitter had recently only partially complied with the government orders to remove the tweets over protests by farmers over the new agricultural laws.

All the social media intermediaries should prominently publish on their site or app the rules and regulations and privacy policy and user agreement for their access or usage.

Moreover, an intermediary shall also inform the user of computer resource not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share any sort of information that is false, misleading and defamatory in nature. Users should also be informed to not publish any information that is harmful to minors, infringes the patents, or violates the law.

They also need to inform users to not post any content that threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with the foreign states.

The intermediary should also inform users at least once every year, in case of non-compliance with the rules and regulations, privacy policy or user agreement for access or usage of the computer resource of such intermediary. They have the right to terminate the access or usage rights of the users to the computer resource immediately or remove it in case of non-compliance.

Also, the social media latforms should appoint a Chief Compliance Officer who shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and rules. Moreover, they should also appoint a nodal person of contact for 24×7 coordination with law enforcement agencies and officers to ensure compliance to their orders or requisitions which should be made in accordance with the provisions of law or rules made thereunder.