Center Reflects on ‘Safe Harbor’ Revocation for Social Media Platforms Amid Facebook Controversy

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With the latest revelations on Facebook and the implications of its content for the mental health of young users, the government may rethink its protective framework for social media companies in India, according to a report by Economic times.

It comes as countries around the world try to regulate Facebook and other social media companies and tackle disinformation and hate speech on the internet.

A government source told the publication the government may rethink the “blanket exemption” granted to social media companies operating in India.

The Center has formulated 2021 IT rules for social and digital media companies nationwide to verify misinformation, including putting in place a grievance mechanism. Notably, companies must follow these rules if they are to claim “Intermediate Security Zone” status, which means protection from liability for any third-party content they carry on their platform.

Also read: Facebook’s Supervisory Board to Meet with Whistleblower Frances Haugen

“The platforms must be responsible for the content; they cannot protect themselves behind the safe harbor, they must be much more proactive in identifying and removing harmful and hateful content, ”the government official added.

While the new IT rules address some concerns about flagging and removing content, an overhaul is only possible by amending the broader Information Technology Act, 2000, which was last amended. times in 2008, the report added.

Whistleblower Frances Haugen has alleged that the US-based social media network harms children’s mental health, fuels division in society by promoting hateful and violent content and cares more about its bottom line.

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