Meta has been instructed by the government of India to make sure that content takedown orders are processed and followed within an hour of being issued.
This means that if the government wants any content on Meta-owned Facebook deleted, it should be deleted within an hour after the order has been issued.
Content on Meta Platforms To Be Taken Down in an Hour After Order Issue
According to sources with knowledge of the development, the Indian government has instructed Meta, the company that owns social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, to try to process and finish content takedown orders issued by authorities within an hour of receiving such official communication.
The sources said that the internet giant was also informed that Google, a competitor in Silicon Valley, is doing better on this front and that the government anticipates a higher rate of cooperation with takedown orders from authorities.
In the final week of November, Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and other top MeitY (Ministry of electronics and information technology) officials met with Meta’s President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, to discuss this matter. Sources claim that Clegg met with at least two other ministers to talk about Meta’s operations in India and the country’s changing internet policy restrictions.
As per a source close to this development, “Clegg and others were evidently taken by a bit of surprise when Vaishnaw said that Google was doing better than Meta in terms of compliance with takedown requests. They had the view that Meta was in full adherence to the takedown norms under the IT Rules amendments of last year.”
Censorship Rules For Social Media, OTTs, Digital News
The government announced a set of IT Rules changes in 2021 mandating social media companies to remove information as quickly as feasible, but no later than 36 hours when such a request is made by a court or an appropriate government agency.
Back in 2021, the Government of India had issued a set of rules to follow the broad content guidelines that are meant for TV, print media, and social media intermediaries.
video streaming platforms and online news media will be required to set up a three-tier grievance redressal mechanism. Under this mechanism, self regulation will be required by publishers along with a self-regulating body headed by a retired Supreme Court or high court judge and an inter-ministerial committee.