Google, Facebook have started complying with new digital rules

CIOReviewIndia Team | Monday, 31 May 2021, 05:38 IST

Google, Facebook have started complying with new digital rulesAccording to a report, the two tech companies are updating their websites to reflect the appointment of the grievance officers under the new social media rules that came into effect on 26 May.

The report quoted government sources, which claims that large social media companies like Google, Facebook and WhatsApp have shared details with the IT Ministry as per the requirement of the new digital rules, but Twitter is still not following the norms.

According to the latest digital rules, companies with over 50 lakh users will need to appoint a grievance officer, nodal officer and a chief compliance officer. These personnel are required to be resident in India.

The report mentions industry sources that claim Facebook and WhatsApp have already shared their compliance report with the Ministry of Electronics and IT, and that the details of the new grievance officers appointed are being updated to replace the existing information on these platforms.

Currently, Google's 'Contact Us' page shows details of Joe Grier as a contact person with an address from Mountain View, US.

As per the rules, all intermediaries have to prominently publish on their website, app or both, the name of the grievance officer and his/her contact details as well as the mechanism by which a user or a victim may make a complaint.

The grievance officer will have to acknowledge the complaint within 24 hours and dispose of such complaint within a period of 15 days from the date of its receipt and receive and acknowledge any order, notice or direction issued by the authorities.

According to the report, Twitter has not sent details of the chief compliance officer to the IT Ministry, and shared details of a lawyer working in a law firm as a nodal contact person and grievance officer.

Twitter's website mentions Dharmendra Chatur as the “Resident Grievance Officer for India (Interim)”.

Other Indian social media brands such as Koo and Sharechat have also shared the required details with the IT Ministry. Telegram and LinkedIn have also begun compliance with the new laws.

Under the new rules, social media companies will have to take down flagged content within 36 hours, and remove within 24 hours content that is flagged for nudity, pornography etc.

The Centre has said the new rules are designed to prevent abuse and misuse of platforms, and offer users a robust forum for grievance redressal.

Non-compliance with the rules would result in these platforms losing the intermediary status that provides them immunity from liabilities over any third-party data hosted by them. In other words, they could be liable for criminal action in case of complaints.