The Ministry of Electronics and IT has set up a mechanism to audit compliance of social media intermediaries under IT rules every quarter
Through this audit, the ministry will verify if social media companies are reporting about grievances raised to them correctly
It will also check if the measures taken by the companies are in sync with the laid out rules
Tightening its grip over social media platforms, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) is now planning to conduct quarterly compliance audits of these platforms.
The ministry has set up a mechanism to audit compliance of social media intermediaries under IT rules every quarter, news agency PTI reported.
Through this audit, the ministry will verify if social media companies are reporting about grievances raised to them correctly. It will also check if the measures taken by the companies are in sync with the laid out rules.
Currently, social media intermediaries with more than 5 Mn users are mandated to publish monthly compliance reports under IT Rules 2021. This week, all major social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, published their compliance reports for the month of June.
In June this year, MeitY proposed amendments to IT Rules 2021. As per the draft, the government has proposed to form Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC). Users dissatisfied with a decision of a social media company’s grievance officer will be able to appeal to the government-formed committee, if the rules are implemented.
The amendments have been criticised by many industry associations and experts.
In its comments on the amendments submitted to MeitY, the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) opposed the Centre’s proposal to set up a GAC/
“…we believe that the prospective creation of multiple, national oversight bodies – each potentially interpreting common standards through local lenses – seems likely to fragment digital policymaking while creating compliance hurdles and barriers to entry for smaller companies,” the AIC said.
Earlier, US lobby groups, including US-India Business Council (USIBC), part of the US Chamber of Commerce, and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) representing tech giants such as Twitter and Facebook, also expressed concerns about draft amendments to IT Rules, 2021.
The groups also raised concerns internally over how the committee could operate independently if the government itself is involved in its formation.