Google and Facebook update websites to advertise grievance officers: report

Large digital companies like Google and Facebook have started updating their websites to reflect the appointment of grievance officers under new social media rules that came into effect recently.

Large social media companies like Google, Facebook and WhatsApp have shared details with the IT ministry according to the requirements of the new digital rules, according to government sources, but Twitter is still not following the standards.

The new rules require major social media intermediaries – those with 50 other lakh users – to appoint a grievance officer, a nodal manager and a compliance officer. These personnel must reside in India.

Industry sources said Facebook and WhatsApp have already shared their compliance report with the Department of Electronics and Informatics, and details of the newly appointed grievance officers are being updated for replace existing information on these platforms.

Google’s “Contact Us” page displays details of Joe Grier as a contact person with an address in Mountain View, United States. The page also contains details on the grievance mechanism for YouTube.

As per the rules, all intermediaries must prominently post on their website, app, or both, the name of the complaints officer and contact details as well as the mechanism by which a user or victim can file a complaint.

The grievance officer must acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 24 hours and dispose of this complaint within 15 days from the date of its receipt; and receive and acknowledge receipt of any order, advice or instruction issued by the authorities.

Government sources said on Friday that Twitter was not following the standards.

Twitter did not send details of the compliance officer to the IT Department, nor did it share details of an attorney working at a law firm as a nodal contact person and grievance officer, have they added.

This is when IT rules clearly require that these appointed managers of major social media platforms be company employees and reside in India, they stressed.

Although Twitter did not respond to email questions on the matter, its website lists Dharmendra Chatur as “Resident Grievance Officer India (Acting)”.

Google, Facebook and WhatsApp also did not respond to detailed email questions about staff appointments as required by the new IT rules.

The sources previously said that in addition to Google, Facebook and WhatsApp, other important social media intermediaries such as Koo, Sharechat, Telegram and LinkedIn also shared details with the ministry in line with IT standards requirements.

Under the new rules, social media companies will be required to remove flagged content within 36 hours and remove content flagged for nudity, pornography, etc. within 24 hours.

The Center said the new rules are designed to prevent abuse and misuse of platforms and provide users with a solid forum for resolving grievances.

Failure to comply with the rules would result in the loss of the intermediary status of these platforms which gives them immunity from liability on the data of third parties hosted by them. In other words, they could be subject to criminal prosecution if there are complaints.

After the new standards went into effect on May 26, the IT ministry stepped up pressure on major social media companies, asking them to immediately report compliance and provide details of the top three officials. named.

The new IT rules also require important social media intermediaries – providing services primarily in the form of messaging – to allow the identification of the “first author” of information that undermines India’s sovereignty, security of the country. ‘State or public order.

Large platforms are also required to publish periodic compliance reports on a monthly basis including details of complaints received and actions taken about them, as well as the number of specific communication links or pieces of information that the intermediary has removed or removed. to which access has been disabled as a result of any proactive monitoring conducted. using automated tools or other reasons.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)


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