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Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Asked To Remove Fake Accounts Within 24 Hours of Complaint

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WhatsApp and Facebook

The IT ministry's diktat comes under the grievance redressal mechanism that has been prescribed for social media platforms, and makes it contingent on the firms to remove any content that is deemed offensive or inappropriate.

The government of India has mandated top social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google to remove accounts with fake profile pictures of known personalities and businesses, and even the general user within 24 hours of being notified of the same by the user or someone on the user’s behalf. This comes as part of the new IT rules and social media giants will need to act immediately after receiving a complaint to this effect, a report in The Times of India said. This move is said to end the menace of impersonation on social media in India.

“If a known actor, or a cricketer, or a politician, or any other user objects to another person using his or her image to gain followers or to make their messaging more visible, or to carry out an illegal act, then they are within their right to ask the companies to take down the account. Provisions to this effect have been added to the new IT Rules for social media companies, and they have to take remedial action within a day after being notified by a user," an official told TOI. The problem of impersonation is a major issue for celebrities, influencers, activists, and even businesses and corporates. Impersonators online range from parody accounts, to those that are created for the purpose of mischief or crime.

Most impersonator accounts use a real picture or a morphed image and even carry content that is generally similar to the personality that they are targeting, the TOI report cited its source as saying. The IT ministry’s diktat comes under the grievance redressal mechanism that has been prescribed for social media platforms, and makes it contingent on the firms to remove any content that is deemed offensive or inappropriate.

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