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Ravi Shankar Prasad: First compliance report by Google, FB as per IT rules big step towards transparency

Under the new IT rules, large digital platforms with more than five million users are required to publish periodic compliance reports every month, mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken thereon.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
July 4, 2021 1:06:37 am
Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday lauded major social media platforms like Google, Facebook and Instagram for publishing their first compliance report on voluntary removal of offensive posts as per new IT rules, terming it a big step towards transparency.

“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,” the Minister for Information Technology, Communications, Law and Justice tweeted on Saturday.

Under the new IT rules, large digital platforms with more than five million users are required to publish periodic compliance reports every month, mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken thereon.

The publishing of compliance reports by Google, Facebook and Instagram is bound to turn up the heat on Twitter, which has been engaged in a tussle with the Indian government over the new social media rules.

The government has confronted Twitter for deliberate defiance and failure to comply with the country’s new IT rules, and not appointing the requisite officers, leading to it losing the ‘safe harbour’ immunity.

Facebook on Friday said it “actioned” over 30 million content pieces across 10 violation categories during May 15-June 15 in the country, as the social media giant brought out its maiden monthly compliance report as mandated by the IT rules.

It actioned content related to spam (25 million), violent and graphic content (2.5 million), adult nudity and sexual activity (1.8 million), and hate speech (311,000).

Other categories under which content was actioned include bullying and harassment (118,000), suicide and self-injury (589,000), dangerous organisations and individuals: terrorist propaganda (106,000) and dangerous organisations and individuals: organised hate (75,000).

Instagram took action against about two million pieces across nine categories during the same period.

‘Actioned’ content refers to the number of pieces of content (such as posts, photos, videos or comments) where action has been taken for violation of standards. Taking action could include removing a piece of content from Facebook or Instagram or covering photos or videos that may be disturbing to some audiences with a warning.

Google had stated that 27,762 complaints were received by Google and YouTube in April this year from individual users in India over alleged violation of local laws or personal rights, which resulted in removal of 59,350 pieces of content.

Koo, in its report, said it has proactively moderated 54,235 content pieces, while 5,502 posts were reported by its users during June.

Apart from publishing periodic compliance reports every month, the rules also require disclosure on the number of specific communication links or parts of information that the intermediary has removed or disabled access to in pursuance of any proactive monitoring conducted by using automated tools.

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