Indian government tightens grip on Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix with tougher rules

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Twitter Logo OnePlus 6 (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The Indian government has announced new guidelines to regulate social media and OTT platforms in the country.
  • The new regulations require social media platforms to appoint a grievance officer and take down unlawful and violent content within 24 hours.
  • Streaming services have been asked to self-classify content into five categories: U, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A.

India has released new guidelines for regulating social media and streaming platforms in the country, targeting tech giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and Amazon (via TechCrunch).

The government's new guidelines require social media companies to appoint compliance, nodal contact, and resident grievance officers. Social media platforms must also disclose the first originator of misinformation or other unlawful content and comply with takedown requests of violent and explicit sexual content within 24 hours.

The new guidelines come weeks after social media giant Twitter refused to comply with some of India's orders to block accounts of journalists and activists supporting the ongoing farmer protests in the country.

Streaming services, on the other hand, will now be required to self-classify their content into five different categories: U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult). Additionally, the new regulations require streaming platforms to enable parental locks for content classified as U/A 13+ or higher. Platforms will have to roll out age verification mechanisms for content classified as "A."

While the government has said that it had received "enough input" from the industry, industry body IAMAI says it is "dismayed" by the new guidelines and hopes to have a dialogue with the government soon.

Babu Mohan
News Writer