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In Compliance Reports, Facebook, Twitter Detail Action Taken Against Violations

By: Bhaswati Guha Majumder

News18.com

Last Updated: July 04, 2022, 14:33 IST

New Delhi

The Facebook content that was actioned fell under many categories, including spam, child endangerment, violent and graphic content, adult nudity and sexual activity, and bullying and harassment. (File)

The Facebook content that was actioned fell under many categories, including spam, child endangerment, violent and graphic content, adult nudity and sexual activity, and bullying and harassment. (File)

IT Rules 2021 make it illegal to upload or share material that is pornographic, sexually explicit, deals with child sex abuse, or invades someone's privacy

Facebook’s most recent monthly report has revealed that the social media behemoth “actioned” around 17.5 million pieces of content in India during May across 13 different violation categories, while Twitter in its compliance report has also stated that it has taken similar steps.

Here, it should be noted that IT Rules, 2021, make it illegal to upload or share material that is pornographic, sexually explicit, deals with child sex abuse, or invades someone’s privacy.

The further limitations on the kinds of information that users of intermediate platforms may produce, upload or exchange are outlined in the 2021 Rules. These include:

1. “harmful to child”.
2. “insulting on the basis of gender”.
3. “knowingly and intentionally communicates any information which is patently false or misleading in nature but may reasonably be perceived as a fact”.

According to the IT regulations that took effect in May last year, significant digital platforms (with more than five million users) are required to produce periodic compliance reports each month that include information about the complaints received and the steps that were taken in response.

However, in order to protect users from arbitrary content moderation, inaction, or takedown choices made by major internet corporations, the government is now finalising new social media regulations.

The IT ministry released a draft set of guidelines last month that calls for a government tribunal to hear user appeals against complaints that go unanswered or against content-related judgments made by social media networks’ grievance officers.

Facebook

The Facebook content that was “actioned” fell under many categories, including spam, child endangerment, violent and graphic content, adult nudity and sexual activity, and bullying and harassment.

According to its recently released India monthly report, Facebook took the step against several content pieces between May 1 and May 31 this year.

“Taking action could include removing a piece of content from Facebook or Instagram or covering photos or videos that may be disturbing to some audiences with a warning,” Meta’s report revealed.

It also highlights the details of the content that has been disabled or removed as a result of proactive monitoring with automated techniques.

As per the report, of the 17.5 million actioned pieces, 3.7 million were in the category of violent and graphic content, 2.6 million were in the category of adult nudity and sexual activity, and 9.3 million were spam.

Other categories where the content was ‘actioned’ included bullying and harassment (294,500), suicide and self-injury (482,000), dangerous organisations and individuals – terrorism (106,500), and dangerous organisations and individuals – organised hatred (4,300).

Twitter

In May, Twitter suspended more than 46,000 accounts belonging to Indian users for breaking its rules, according to the microblogging service’s monthly compliance report.

The report noted that 2,870 accounts were banned for inciting terrorism, while Twitter terminated 43,656 accounts for child sexual exploitation, non-consensual nudity, and related content.

Between April 26 and May 25 this year, the platform’s local grievance process in India received 1,698 complaints. This includes accusations involving, among other things, impersonation (25), hateful behaviour (111), sensitive adult content (28), misinformation and manipulated media (36), and online abuse/harassment (1,366).

During that time, it also took legal action against 1,621 uniform resource locators (URLs), including those that had violated rules against hate speech (362), sensitive adult content (154) and online harassment (1,077).

Google

According to its monthly transparency report, Google India removed 393,303 pieces of content in May using automated identification to stop the spread of material that is harmful, like child sex abuse and violent extremist content.

It also stated that the company has taken down 62,673 pieces of content as a result of user complaints in May this year.

WhatsApp

In accordance with IT Rules, 2021, another platform under Meta, WhatsApp, has disclosed that it banned over 19 lakh fraudulent accounts in India during the month of May. It had also banned more than 16.6 lakh fraudulent accounts in India in April and in the same month the company received 844 grievance reports within the country.

In May, it received 528 complaints of grievances from around the nation, and 24 accounts were “actioned”, the report stated.

Instagram

Meta’s photo-sharing platform Instagram “actioned” nearly 4.1 million pieces of content across 12 categories between May 1 and May 31.

The compliance report noted that in May, Instagram received 13,869 reports through the Indian grievance process, and the company reacted to 100% of the reports. In 4,693 of these incoming reports, it gave tools to help people resolve their concerns.

The company also said that it has analysed the substance of the remaining 9173 reports that required specialised examination in accordance with required procedures and it took action on 5770 reports in total.

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first published:July 04, 2022, 14:14 IST
last updated:July 04, 2022, 14:33 IST