India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology MEITY announced the rules earlier today.
The rules require social media companies to create a grievance redress mechanism for users, including official grievance officials who acknowledge complaints within 24 hours and resolve them within 15 days.
Services must also remove nudity and sexually explicit content within 24 hours of the user reporting them.
Important social media brokers face additional responsibilities, and these companies should appoint India-based officials who work with law enforcement, along with publishing a monthly report on supervisory activity.
Important services that focus on messaging should also be ready to identify the primary originator of the message, a list likely targeting the popular WhatsApp service.
Indian organizers previously asked WhatsApp to identify the sources of anonymous rumors that sparked the violence, but the platform argued that this would harm end-to-end encryption.
The framework also notes that India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology can regulate digital media services, including video broadcast platforms, and digital news services must follow the official standards of journalistic behavior that traditional media follow.
The head of the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said: The rules aim to make social media companies more responsible and more accountable for content across their platforms.
American social media companies have struggled to cope with problems of violence, hate speech and political conflict in India.
Facebook’s head of domestic politics resigned last year under pressure from activists, and earlier this month, Twitter clashed with India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology over an order banning activists critical of India’s government.
India has tightened its general regulation of foreign web companies over the past year, and in June 2020, it banned TikTok and other Chinese social apps, citing a threat to national sovereignty.
TikTok cut its staff in India last month, a move billed as a pullout from the country.