India will be imposing new rules on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp, Reuters reported. The world’s largest democracy has increasingly come under criticism for Internet censorship after it shut down mobile Internet services in response to farmer protests near the country’s capital.
Under the new rules, large social media firms will have to establish a grievance redressal mechanism and, within three months, appoint staff to coordinate with the authorities. They must also take down content within 36 hours of being legally ordered to do so.
Companies will have to cooperate with investigations and other cyber security-related incidents within 72 hours of being asked. When legally ordered, they’ll have to reveal the identity of the person who wrote a message or post. Facebook and Twitter both said they would study the new rules, while WhatsApp declined to comment, Reuters said.
Indian farmers have taken to the streets and social media to protest new agricultural laws passed by the government. After employing Internet shutdowns in the past, the Indian government demanded that Twitter remove tweets with the hashtag “farmer genocide” and block certain accounts that gave support to the protests.
Twitter initially complied with the government’s orders but then reversed the blocks citing “insufficient justification”, the BBC said. The Indian government was furious, threatening to jail Twitter employers in India. Twitter then responded with a blog post explaining its suspension actions.
Going by the new rules, it’s probably safe to say that the Indian government isn’t satisfied.