Short video app TikTok has reportedly informed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology that they have complied with the government’s new social media and OTT guidelines, despite the app being banned in India. A report in Hindustan Times quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that TikTok has informed the IT ministry in a communication. The person said that the communication was sent as part of a regular communication with the ministry. A ministry official familiar with the matter was also quoted in the report as saying that it is a good thing that the company is complying with the new guidelines. However, it is unlikely to have an impact on the ban. The IT ministry official was quoted as saying that there was a different reason for which the ban was imposed and that it is a separate issue. The official also said that TikTok isn’t among the significant social media intermediaries which have 50 lakh users or above, that were asked to share compliance details. A TikTok spokesperson was quoted as saying that the company is looking for a return to the Indian market.
This comes at a time when the government is facing pushback against the new guidelines that direct social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and the likes to adopt features like traceability of messages and voluntary user verification, regulate content, appoint officers who will be liable for compliance, and more. Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp have expressed concerns about the new guidelines. WhatsApp sued the IT ministry over the new rules in Delhi High court earlier this week, and Facebook said that there were a few issues that need more engagement with the government.
Twitter, on the other hand, has said that it has appointed an interim grievance redressal officer, but has yet to name a compliance officer and a nodal officer. Disputing the company in court, the government said Twitter has not met all the conditions of the new law.