Tightening its restraint on social media platforms, the Ministry of Electronics and Computing (MeitY) now plans to conduct quarterly compliance audits of these platforms. The Department has established a quarterly audit mechanism on the compliance of social media intermediaries with IT rules.
Through this audit, the department will verify whether social media companies are correctly reporting resolved complaints to them. It will also check whether the measures companies take are in line with established rules. Currently, social media intermediaries with more than 5 million users are required to publish monthly compliance reports under the 2021 IT Code.
This week, all major social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have released their compliance reports for the month of June.
In June this year, MeitY proposed changes to the 2021 IT Code. In line with the draft, the government proposed the establishment of a Complaints and Complaints Committee (GAC). Users who are not satisfied with the decision of the social media company’s complaints officer will be able to appeal to a government-appointed committee if the rules are followed.
The changes have been criticized by many associations and industry experts. In its comments on the amendments submitted to MeitY, the Asian Internet Alliance (AIC) opposed the Center’s proposal to create a GAC/AIC quotes “…we believe that the prospective creation of multiple, national oversight bodies – each potentially interpreting common standards through local lenses – seems likely to fragment digital policymaking while creating compliance hurdles and barriers to entry for smaller companies.”