New Digital, OTT Platform Rules: Social Media Sites Must Remove Content in 36 Hours Of Order

New Delhi: Post the Republic Day events, the farmers’ protest and the toolkit incident, the government on Thursday said that social media companies like Facebook and Twitter will have to erase contentious content as early as possible, but not later than 36 hours, after a government or legal order.

Under the new Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, these companies must also provide information and help with investigations within 72 hours of a request from authorities, said the draft rules, reported.

Further, if a post depicts an individual in any sexual act or conduct, then companies must disable or remove such content within a day of receiving a complaint, the rules added.

The new guidelines will supersede the 2011 rules, and quoted government sources as saying that since the changes are only in the rules, and not the IT Act, Parliament intervention will not be required.

The rules would also apply across other digital and online media, the draft proposal said. “A publisher shall take into consideration India’s multi-racial and multi-religious context and exercise due caution and discretion when featuring the activities, beliefs, practices, or views of any racial or religious group,” the draft rules said.

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