Facebook said that it remains committed to people’s ability to freely and safely express themselves on the platform.
acebook on Tuesday said it is working to implement operational processes and aims to comply with the provisions of the IT rules that come into effect from May 26. The social media giant, however, said it continues to discuss a “few of the issues which need more engagement” with the government.
The comments assume significance as social media companies are facing the deadline of May 25 to comply with the new guidelines for digital platforms. The new rules were announced in February which requires large social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to follow additional due diligence, including the appointment of a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer.
IT Ministry sources said that appointment of a grievance officer would be a key requirement from day-one of rules coming into effect, given the importance of public interface for complaints, and need for an acknowledgement system for requests. Non-compliance with rules would result in these social media companies losing their intermediary status that provides them exemptions from liabilities for any third-party information and data hosted by them.
In a statement on Tuesday, a Facebook spokesperson said: “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, the spokesperson added. The company, however, did not divulge additional details.
According to sources close to the development, provisions around voluntary verification, 24-hour timeline to remove content flagged for nudity etc and setting up a process and time bound grievance redressal mechanism has been put in place, while meeting requirements like generation of monthly compliance reports and appointment of chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer is underway.
On February 25, the government had announced tighter regulations for social media firms, requiring them to remove any content flagged by authorities within 36 hours and setting up a robust complaint redressal mechanism with an officer being based in the country.
The government had set 50 lakh registered users as the threshold for defining ‘significant social media intermediary’, meaning that large players like Twitter, Facebook and Google would have to comply with additional norms.
Announcing the guidelines in February, it had said the new rules take effect immediately, while significant social media providers (based on number of users) will get three months before they need to start complying. The three-month time period meant compliance by May 25.