Social Media Platforms May Lose ‘Intermediary’ Status in India as New Law Comes into Effect

India’s new social media law comes into effect Wednesday, after it gave social media firms such as Facebook and Twitter three months to comply with the guidelines which ended on May 25. 

The new Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021 requires social media firms in India to have increased accountability over user content to prevent misuse and abuse and to establish a three-tier redressal system for users’ grievances.

However, only Indian social media firm Koo complied, with sources from government complaining against giant firms Facebook and Twitter, who have yet to respond on the end of the three-month compliance period, India Today reported. 

Some platforms also asked for another six months to comply. 

A senior official told India Today, “They do business in India, earn good revenue but grievance redressal will have to await instructions from the USA.”

“People who are victims of social media have suffered as they do not know whom to approach in social media in absence of any public information,” another government source said.

Said platforms, as intermediaries, are not held liable for contents posted by users under the Information Technology Act however, the new law would mean they could now be held liable for user content, and may be criminally charged according to Indian laws. 

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