In compliance to new IT rules 2021, US-based social media giants Facebook and WhatsApp on Friday listed the address of a law company Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co for any grievance redressal by users instead of their registered office address.
The address: 216, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III, New Delhi – 110020 is listed by both Facebook and WhatsApp on their redressal page. This is also the same address as mentioned by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co on its own site for the New Delhi region.
As per a report published in money control, it is not clear yet whether Spoorthi Priya, who was named by Facebook as its grievance officer for India, and Paresh B Lal, appointed as WhatsApp grievance officer, will be a part of this firm or not. An email which was sent to Facebook and WhatsApp seeking clarification has not elicit any response.
Facebook had on May 26 confirmed that they will comply with the new guidelines. “We aim to comply with the provisions of the IT [Information Technology] rules and continue to discuss a few of the issues which need more engagement with the government. Pursuant to the IT Rules, we are working to implement operational processes and improve efficiencies,” a Facebook spokesperson had said in a statement shared with the media.
As per the new IT Rules 2021 which came into effect on May 26, all significant social media platforms with more than 50 lakh users are required to have a larger grievance redressal mechanism which will include a Chief Compliance Officer, a Nodal Contact Person and a Resident Grievance Officer. All social media platforms are required to publish these details on their apps and websites and explain to users the mechanism in place to make a complaint against any content on the platform.
These complaints need to be acknowledged within 24 hours of receipt and these complaints need to be actioned upon within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt.
For instance, Indian social media platform Koo already has a grievance redressal system in place, including a Resident Grievance Officer and a Chief Compliance Officer as part of the setup.
However, Twitter has not yet complied with the IT rules and now is being grilled by the Parliamentary Committee for delay.
The Centre had said that the new rules are designed to prevent abuse and misuse of platforms, and offer users a robust forum for grievance redressal. Non-compliance with rules would result in these platforms losing their intermediary status that provides them immunity from liabilities over any third-party data hosted by them. In other words, they could be liable for criminal action in case of complaints.