Government defines significant social media intemediary under IT rules

The Government has fixed 50 lakh users as the threshold for defining significant social media intermediary. These platforms will have to adhere to additional obligations and compliance under new IT rules that seek to crackdown on social media platforms. The new rules announced earlier this week require significant social media intermediaries to follow additional due diligence, including appointment of chief compliance officer, nodal contact person, and resident grievance officer. All three officials will have to reside in India.

They have to publish monthly compliance reports and details of the contents removed proactively. The move aims to make social media platforms WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter more responsible and accountable for the content hosted on their platform. These companies will have to remove contentious content flagged by government or court orders within 36 hours and take down posts depicting nudity or morphed photos within 24 hours of receiving a complaint. These platforms are also required to disclose the first originator of mischievous information that undermines the sovereignty of India, security of state, or public order.


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