India announces new set of tough rules for social media


The Indian government, in its latest effort to tighten control over big tech firms, announced new rules on Thursday to regulate big social media firms, such as Facebook and Twitter.

The rules come after Twitter ignored orders to drop content on farmers’ protests, fuelling the goverment’s zeal, dating from 2018, to clamp down on material it regards as disinformation or unlawful.

The new measures will require big social media companies to set up a grievance redressal mechanism and appoint executives to coordinate with law enforcement, the government said in a news statement.

The government said the guidelines in its code of digital media ethics were needed to hold social media and other companies accountable for misuse and abuse.

A detailed version of the guidelines is to be published later and take effect three months after that, the government said.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while Twitter declined to comment.

On Wednesday, PageOne reported the draft of the rules, which give companies a maximum of 36 hours to remove content after they receive a government or legal order.

India’s rules will also require video streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime to classify content into five categories based on users’ age, the government said.