India is planning to ban Facebook and Twitter in the next 48 hours as they could not comply with the new guideline as specified in the New IT Rule 2021.
As the deadline approaches soon, the presence of social media giants will cease in India as well as the creativity and the freedom of expression of millions of Indians.
What is the “New IT Rule 2021” ?
The New IT Rule came into existence on the 25th of February, which makes it mandatory for platforms such as WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram to aid in identifying “originator” of “unlawful” messages, while also requiring social media networks to take down such messages within a specific time frame, set up grievance redressal mechanism as well as assist government agencies in the investigation. The ‘significant social media intermediary’ were given three months for compliance, as stated by The Hindu.
“We aim to comply with the provisions of the IT 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. Facebook remains committed to people’s ability to freely and safely express themselves on our platform,” a Facebook Spokesperson told tech2 in a statement.
In case of non-compliance by the end of the deadline, the government could take criminal action against them and government ban their operation in India.
The regulations are a part of the liberal democratic country and we as a citizen should respect the regulations but the regulations could hamper the creativity and freedom of expression as the content now regulated by the government, is sensitive to the public.
The government’s intervention into Media and Press could help them regulate the content which is published on any online or offline platform, but the motive behind this very move is to eradicate any “Anti-Government” statement published on platforms such as Twitter.
This could help the Government to gain trust over the public through advertisements as Government spends Rs 1,200 crore per year on advertising.
In the coming days, the law doesn’t only apply to only Facebook and Twitter, but all Online Media of foreign origin.