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Two days left for Facebook, Twitter to protect its status in India

Two days left for Facebook, Twitter to protect its status in India

New Delhi: Social media giants Facebook and Twitter have been warned by the Centre about stringent action against them if not made the appointments into grievance redressal mechanism notified in February within two days.

In February, the Central government had issued a set of guidelines, including the appointment of a resident grievance officer, a chief compliance officer, and a nodal contact person, urging the social media platforms to complete designation by May 26.

Failure in complying with the guidelines will invite action under the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021.

The top official sources said that if social media companies fail to obey the rules, they are likely to lose their status and protections as intermediaries and may become liable for criminal action as per the existing laws of India.

None of the top social media intermediaries has appointed a resident grievance officer, a chief compliance officer and a nodal contact person yet except Indian social media company, Koo.

Sources added that social media companies' negligence in making these appointments in three months has not gone down well with the government.

With arbitrary suspensions of accounts and inaction over abuses and bigotry on social media platforms, users in India have been persistently complaining against tech giants like Twitter, Facebook and others.

In the latest alleged Congress toolkit controversy, Delhi Police visited Twitter India's local offices in the National Capital Region on Monday after Twitter had marked one of the tweets of BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as "manipulated media".

Twitter's presumptive judgement has triggered widespread outrage among Indian users across the country.

Sources said the social media platforms which were required to furnish monthly reports as to how many grievances were filed and settled, have failed to do so. Some of the platforms, sources said, have sought more time of up to six months for furnishing compliance.

For some platforms, sources said, the standard reply has been that they will await instructions from their company headquarters in the US, who in turn on their own will have an "expert assessment" to take a view.

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