Removal of “offensive posts” by social media giants like Google, Facebook and Instagram after the government’s new IT rules came into effect is a “big step towards transparency”, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said this afternoon.
Facebook took action against more than 30 million posts while photo-sharing app Instagram, also owned by Facebook, acted against about two million posts between May 15 and June 15, news agency PTI reported, citing Facebook’s first compliance report.
Search engine Google removed 59,350 links from its products, including YouTube.
In its report, homegrown social media app Koo said it has acted on 1,253 of the 5,502 complaints.
“Nice to see significant social media platforms like Google, Facebook and Instagram following the new IT Rules. First compliance report on voluntary removal of offensive posts published by them as per IT Rules is a big step towards transparency,” Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted today.
Nice to see significant social media platforms like Google, Facebook and Instagram following the new IT Rules. First compliance report on voluntary removal of offensive posts published by them as per IT Rules is a big step towards transparency. pic.twitter.com/FhzUv4pHUp
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) July 3, 2021
New IT rules make social media websites, which have over 50 lakh users, more accountable for the third-party content for the first time.
These firms now have to publish monthly reports with the details of complaints received and action taken. Taking action could include removing a piece of content or covering photos or videos that may be disturbing to some audiences with a warning.
The social media giants are also required to appoint a chief compliance officer, a nodal officer and a grievance officer and these officials need to be Indian residents.
The Union Minister’s comments come as troubles grow for Twitter, which recently appointed Global Legal Policy Director Jeremy Kessel as the grievance officer for India to follow the new rules.
In his tweet, Ravi Shankar Prasad did not mention Twitter.
Four cases have been filed against Twitter so far – two in Uttar Pradesh, one in Madhya Pradesh and one in Delhi – over user-generated content after the new rules came into effect.
Critics have raised concerns that Twitter may no longer enjoy protection against user-generated content.
With over 624 million users, India has one of the highest number of internet users in the world. The country has over 448 million social media users, according to rough estimates.
(With inputs from PTI)