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Facebook and Twitter Ban in India – Is it Really Necessary?

The Facebook and Twitter ban in India has caused quite a stir online. Netizens took to creating memes to justify the ban. They re-purposed popular Bollywood dialogues and creative GIFs to create hilarious posts and share them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These posts quickly flooded the internet with satirical comments and mockery of the govt’s decision. While the ban has been widely criticised, it still appears to be a reasonable and necessary measure.

On January 25, India’s IT Department published new Intermediary Guidelines for OTT and digital platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They proposed the establishment of compliance officers and nodal contact persons to oversee complaints and monitor objectionable content. The guidelines also outlined the creation of new positions devoted to monitoring and investigating content that may be offensive or harmful to people in India. The new rules also mandated the appointment of resident grievance officers and chief compliance officers to monitor content that violates the rules.

The new guidelines mandate that social media platforms appoint a nodal officer in India for any complaints. The office will act as a public interface for complaints and acknowledgement system for requests. The government announced tighter regulations for social media firms on February 25, 2013. The new rules include requirements for removing content within 36 hours, creating an effective complaint redress system, and appointing a resident grievance officer based in the country.

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