Several reports claimed in the last 24 hours that social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram might be banned in India if they do not comply with the new Intermediary Guidelines by 25th May, which was yesterday. But so far WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter are working normally though none of these platforms has complied with the new regulations yet!
What are the New IT Rules?
On 25th February, the government of India announced new IT rules to be complied with by all social media platforms operating in the country by 25th May. As per the new IT rules, the “significant social media”, should have a chief compliance officer in India who can quickly respond to government demands and needs as and when required.
The government of India has asked these companies to hire a nodal officer, who will coordinate with law enforcement agencies round the clock, whenever the government requires.
The companies have also been asked to hire a grievance redressal officer to help the social media users with their grievances.
The government also asked companies such as WhatsApp to ensure that they can trace a message to the original sender, which means breaking end-to-end encryption on messages.
Will the Social Media apps stop working?
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more that have not complied with the IT rules yet. However, Facebook on Tuesday said in an official statement, “we aim to comply with the provisions of the IT rules and continue to discuss a few of the issues which need more engagement with the government.”
OTT platforms such as Netflix, among others that have complied with the Indian government’s new set of IT rules will function with no interference by the government.
But what about the rest of the companies? Those who have not complied with the new rules yet? Will they be banned in the country? Well, at least at the moment nothing sort of this is going to happen.
Social media platforms that don’t comply with the new IT rules will lose the protection that intermediaries get under the IT Act. In which case, these social media platforms can be dragged into court at any given point and prosecuted using the applicable laws. Although, it won’t affect much to the end-users much.
So, that is why Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, or any other platform that has still not complied with the new IT rules and guidelines are still working. However, in case the government of India takes any against them, things might get ugly!
Although, there is no official word on the same from the companies or the Indian government as of now. So, you can relax and use these social media platforms.
We will keep you updated.
Thank you so much for reading.
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