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India Plans To Tackle Fake News By Holding Social Media Companies Responsible For Content Posted On Their Platforms

India has been a haven for tech companies to thrive. Not only considering the large numbers available, but also the social media-friendly laws in the country. The country’s IT Act 2000 fostered the thriving of social media platforms.

IT Act 2000 freed tech companies from being held liable for any content posted by users on the platforms. In the current times where social media platforms are struggling with content moderation and takedown requests, this is precisely all they could ask for to continue growing.

However, in 2018, the country drafted new laws that would change this scenario, in a proposed bid to tackle fake news on social media platforms.

According to the proposal, social media platforms would be held accountable for any content posted on their platforms that are considered “sensitive.”

Plus, it also mandates social media platforms to report in 72 hours after a complaint has been received from the authorities. The platforms must also deny access to “content deemed defamatory or against national security” among other clauses.

The laws additionally require that any company having more than five million users must have a locally registered entity under the Companies Act.

Since the original draft was presented, they have been massive turmoil among industry associations as well as cloud companies who want to separate themselves from the proposed laws that are yet to come into play.

Social media platforms – both small and big – are increasingly being concerned about the censorship of their platforms. Apparently, these rules will only apply to major tech companies – the likes of Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram.

The EconomicTimes reports that an unnamed government official said the rules would be applied to major social media platforms only.

“The rules are meant only for social media content and, therefore, other eCommerce or streaming technology firms such as Amazon and Netflix must not worry about the content takedown, traceability, and grievance officer,” said the official.

The new rules are set to be presented in the Supreme court on January 15.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin Wanjala has been writing about technology for over 2 years. He writes about different topics in the consumer tech space. He loves streaming music, programming, and gaming during downtimes.

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