The digital content guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for social media, OTT and digital media platforms have been at the center of controversy for some time. Many have complained that the guidelines or IT Rules have been implemented to suppress free speech on social media. As a result, platforms like Twitter have clashed. However, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has made it clear that companies on all OTTs and social media must abide by the rules. In this new IT rule, social media companies were instructed to submit a compliance report every month. Koo, India’s own microblogging and social networking platform, submitted its first compliance report yesterday. As a result, the Koo app, the indigenous version of Twitter, has become the first social media platform in the country to submit compliance reports.
The compliance report includes information on both the complaint and its disposal. As a result, Koo app reports that they received complaints against a total of 5,502 posts. Of these, 1,253 or 22.7% were removed immediately. And they have taken other kind of action against the remaining 4,249 posts. In that case, this ‘other kind of action’ is meant to ignore, warn and blur the content before it is removed. A Koo spokesperson said they were focused on making the app more secure and improved.
What are these IT Rules?
Rule 4 (d) of the newly enacted Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules 2021, or IT Rule for short, states that social media companies must submit a compliance report once a month. Where each company needs to know how many complaints they have received in 1 month and what action they have taken in response to those complaints.
Facebook submitted the compliance report yesterday
Koo has since submitted a Facebook compliance report. In this report, all the data from 15th May to 15th June has been reported to the government. According to Facebook, they have settled 95 percent of complaints about all types of content, while Instagram has an action rate of 80 percent.