Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Ban in India – The news of social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, and Whatsapp getting banned in India is making rounds lately. The Government of India offered a deadline to these social media giants to abide by the new IT rules of India; else they will get banned in the country. The deadline was of 26th May 2021 after which the Government of India will take strict actions against these platforms to ban them.
But it seems there are twists and turns in the scenario. As per another update, while Facebook has accepted the condition to abide by the new IT rules, Whatsapp has asked for help from the Delhi court and has taken action against the Government of India.
New IT Rules 2021
While social media platforms already have their own sets of rules and guidelines that the users have to abide by, India has launched new IT rules that the social media platforms operating in India have to follow.
Here are some of the important guidelines of the new IT rules 2021.
- Social media platforms have to take down any videos or posts that are related to hatred, offensive, or something that hurts the sovereignty of the country.
- The social media platforms have to reveal the original creator of a post that is making rounds and is coming under the categories mentioned above.
- Also, the platforms have to remove such content that is a threat to the country within a time of a maximum of 36 hours.
- The social media platforms also have to set a complaint redressal system exclusively for India to take up any complaint coming against any post.
- For this complaint redressal system, the platforms have to designate an officer who will be stationed in India exclusively.
The Ban on Social Media Platforms in India
The Government of India came up with these new rules in the month of February this year and offered 3 months’ time to all the social media platforms working in India to furnish compliance with these new rules. In this regard, it was only the platform Koo, the Indian version of Twitter that fulfilled these guidelines. Other platforms either asked for an extended time of 6 months to come into compliance with the new rules or notified that taking such a massive action will be difficult as they have to wait for instructions from their headquarters that are situated in the USA.
But even after a time period of 3 months, when the social media platforms have not taken action for abiding by the new rules, the Indian Government stated out a notice of banning these platforms from 26th May 2021, just exactly 3 months from the rolling date of these new guidelines.
Google and Facebook Ready to Comply with the New Regulations
Recently, Google and the social media giant Facebook have agreed to maintain compliance with the new IT regulations created by the Government of India. But in doing so, they have asked for an extension in the deadline so that they can make the necessary changes and can also at the same time get approval from the headquarters. These platforms also expect to have a discussion with the Government of India to make these changes in their system.
Both Google and Facebook have mentioned that they are always ready to make changes in their products and features if it is about the protection of local law. But they have also added that they need some time to have further discussion with the Government in this regard and to make the changes accordingly.
But as of now, there is no such response from the side of the India Government on this matter. The Government of India has mentioned earlier that anyone who is not following the recently added rules will have to face criminal trials. It is still a dilemma whether the Government will offer an extension to these platforms or there will be some other action that is about to take place.
Whatsapp Sues the Indian Government
While Google and Facebook are talking about complying with the new regulations set by the Indian Government, Whatsapp is not likely to move ahead in the same direction.
Further, Whatsapp mentioned that all the messages are end-to-end encrypted. Hence, it is not really possible to find out the actual originator of a message. It mentioned that in this process it may happen that many other message senders and receivers may get disclosed and this will again lead to violation of privacy. To this, the defendant has mentioned that Whatsapp should find a way to get across the actual originator of the message or the post.
As of now, the lawsuit between the messaging platform Whatsapp and the Government of India is on and it will be interesting to see what is the outcome. Different experts are coming up with different predictions but now the matter is in the court and the court will finally decide about the actual outcome. Meanwhile, it depends absolutely on the Government of India, whether it will be banning the social media platforms in India or not.
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Of course, with the ongoing lawsuit Whatsapp and the extension request of Facebook, it is still quite difficult to say whether the users will be able to continue using these platforms or there will be a complete ban on it. While many of the online news sites have already roared that these platforms are here to stay, it is still a testing time to see what the actual outcome is.