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New IT rules: Social media platforms must remove content within 36 hours of govt order

Govt issues new rules for social media platforms and digital media companies.

February 25, 2021 / 01:17 PM IST

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter must remove content as early as possible, but not later than 36 hours, after a government or legal order, according to new Information Technology rules released on February 25.

These companies must also provide inform and help with investigations within 72 hours of a request from authorities, said the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, a copy of which Moneycontrol reviewed.

Platforms must remove content that depicts an individual in a sexual act or conduct, or in full or partial nudity, within 24 hours of receiving a complaint.

With the new rules, India joins other various nations that are looking to regulate Big Tech firms. In India, Twitter recently only partially complied with government orders to remove tweets over protests by farmers over the new agri laws.

Social media intermediary and significant social media intermediary should prominently publish on their site or app the rules and regulations and privacy policy and user agreement for access or usage.


An intermediary shall inform the user of computer resource not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share any information that are false, misleading and defamatory in nature. Users should also be informed to not publish any information that is harmful to minors, infringes patents, or violates the law.

They also need to inform users to not post any content that threatens unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states.

The intermediary should also inform users at least once every year, in case of non-compliance with rules and regulations, privacy policy or user agreement for access or usage of the computer resource of such intermediary. It has the right to terminate the access or usage rights of the users to the computer resource immediately or remove it in case of non-compliance.

Furthermore, platforms should appoint a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) within 3 months from the date of publication of these rules. The CCO shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and rules.  They should also appoint a nodal person of contact for 24x7 coordination with law enforcement agencies and officers to ensure compliance with their orders or requisitions made in accordance with the provisions of law or rules made thereunder.


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Moneycontrol News
first published: Feb 25, 2021 12:47 pm
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