The IT Ministry is likely to issue FAQs pertaining to the new intermediary rules in the next 1-2 weeks, a source said. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) would touch upon various aspects of the new rules, including the measures, how the norms would benefit users of social media platforms, and any other clarification that stakeholders may have.
The FAQs are currently being worked on and are likely to be issued in 1-2 weeks, the source in the IT Ministry said, adding that the set of FAQs would address 10-20 questions. The new IT rules for social media companies, which came into effect last month, mandate large platforms like Facebook and Twitter to undertake greater due diligence and make these digital platforms more accountable and responsible for the content hosted by them. Under the rules, significant social media intermediaries — those with over 50 lakh users — are required to appoint a grievance officer, a nodal officer and a chief compliance officer. These personnel have to be residents in India. Further, social media companies are required to take down flagged content within 36 hours and remove within 24 hours content that is flagged for issues such as nudity and pornography.
Earlier this month, the government had given one last chance to Twitter to comply with the new rules and had issued a stern warning that failure to adhere to the norms will lead to the platform losing exemption from liability under the IT Act. Twitter recently lost its ‘safe harbour’ shield in India over non-compliance with IT rules and failure to appoint key personnel mandated under the new guidelines, despite repeated reminders, and the platform is now liable for users posting any unlawful content.
The IT Ministry had questioned Twitter over not providing information about the Chief Compliance Officer as required under the rules. Also, the resident grievance officer and nodal contact person nominated by the company is not an employee of Twitter Inc in India as prescribed in the rules, the ministry had earlier flagged.