Centre implements new move, FB, WhatsApp, Google, Twitter could face heavy, jail term

New Delhi: The BJP government has come hard on social media giants especially micro-blogging site Twitter in a fight against fake news and have imposed a penalty on those not complying with the InformationTechnology (IT) Act.

With this new move into implementation, Twitter’s top executives could face jail for seven years along with a fine if the government notices any “objectionable or inflammatory content”.
The government has sought Twitter’s swift action in removing “undesirable content” from social media platforms, IBT times reports.

Not complying with the orders, the government shall invoke section 69A of the IT Act which provides for blocking/ deleting any content on social media platforms that is “detrimental to the country’s sovereignty and integrity”, against the parties.

The social media platforms would have to respond within 72 hours after the government brings to their notice any undesirable content, on failure of which they could face the action.

The new move comes in the wake of fake news widely spreading like fire ahead Elections after a parliamentary committee has previously lashed out at Twitter for inordinate delays in blocking/ deleting the content or accounts that are a threat to India’s integrity or can create problems in law and order situation of the country.

So now various social media platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and Google Plus shall be termed as intermediaries (that carry the message of a third person) and will be held responsible for the content displayed on their websites.

Facebook alone has a huge user account with data suggesting it shall reach over 319 million users in India by 2021.

The draft of the IT (Intermediaries Guidelines Amendment Rules), 2018, states that any internet company that has over 50 lakh users in India should be incorporated within India and have a registered office along with a nodal person of contact.