Ravi Shankar Prasad recently praised Facebook and Google for submitting their first compliance report with the IT ministry. “By providing the first compliance report Facebook and Google took its first step towards ensuring the social media transparency.” IT minister commented on Twitter. This is an attempt to comply with the new IT law, which comes into effect on May 26 and requires social media companies with over 5 million users to submit monthly compliance reports to the IT Ministry. Facebook and Google released their first monthly compliance report, mentioning the actions taken in response to offensive posts on their platforms, in accordance with IT regulations.
Following the IT rules, Facebook deleted over 30 million objectionable posts in less than a month, while Google took action on over 59,000 posts on Google-owned platforms. According to the central government removing offensive content is critical to making the internet and social media a safe place for everyone. Apart from these two platforms, “Koo” a homegrown microblogging platform also removed several objectionable posts in accordance with the new IT rules.
However, several critics have criticized the government’s action, calling it unethical and not in the best interests of Indian citizens. A few weeks ago, WhatsApp filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against the new IT rules, as it required the messaging platform to give the authorities a user’s messaging details if requested, requiring WhatsApp to break their end-to-end encryption. Furthermore, Twitter was also opposed to the new IT rules; however, after some days they agreed to comply with the new IT rules and appointed an interim compliance officer for India, but the officer resigned from the post after few weeks, and the company has yet to appoint another Indian compliance officer. As a result, the San Francisco-based microblogging platform has received a lot of criticism across the country.