As India toughens its stand what all goes up on networking platforms, senior executives from social media platforms are likely to meet officials from the Ministry of Electronics and Information (MeitY) after the Monsoon session of Parliament ends on August 13.
The social media intermediaries, as per sources, are likely to highlight a lack of standard operating procedure (SOP) on the new Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, also known as the IT Rules of 2021. They are likely to list out the operational issues they faced since May 26, with respect to the new rules.
In regards to the Centre’s stance, a senior official from the IT Ministry said the intent of the government was to ensure that these intermediaries remained accountable to Indian law and systems, to the users in India. “We have gone through a big pandemic period and everything was abnormal during the three months given to the intermediaries to make appointments. They did what they could, so the practical approach would be to look to work together now,” he said. The meeting will be seen as the first official interaction between the new IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and senior executives of the social media companies.
Twitter, in the recent months, has been neck-to-neck with the government. This began when the microblogging platform refused to comply with the IT ministry orders to limit access to certain content in India as well as with the new rules.
According to Rule 4(1) of the new rules, a significant social media intermediary, i.e., a social media intermediary having more than 5 million registered users in India, within three months from the date of notification of the threshold, thereof, has to establish a three-tier system for observing due diligence, comprising of a Chief Compliance Officer, a Nodal Contact Person and a Resident Grievance Officer – all residing in India.