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New IT rules make sense, says Facebook as Twitter tussle intensifies

Facebook and Google representatives deposed before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology on Tuesday over the issue of social media misuse and safeguarding citizens' rights.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: June 30, 2021 9:35 IST
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New IT rules make sense, says Facebook as Twitter tussle intensifies  

Social media giant Facebook has welcomed the new IT rules set up by the government to safeguard citizens’ rights and prevent the misuse of social/online news media platforms. Ajit Mohan, Facebook's India MD, told Times of India that the new rules make sense. 

Mohan noted that Facebook and its group of companies have been taking several measures to make platforms safe for users. He said that the government wants to limit the misuse and abuse of social media platforms by bad actors, and that is an agenda that "we are entirely aligned with".

“The agenda of safety and security online is an important agenda for us, especially in a country where we have 700 million people online. I think it makes sense to have a framework for accountability and for having rules around harmful content," he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Facebook and Google representatives deposed before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology over the issue of social media misuse and safeguarding citizens' rights. Sources said that they were told to comply with the new IT rules, government instructions and court orders.

The panel, chaired by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, had asked them to appear in-person at the parliament secretariat in Delhi. PTI sources said the representatives were conveyed that there are loopholes in their existing data protection and privacy policy mechanism, and that they need to put in place stringent safeguards to protect data privacy and data security of their users.

While Facebook's country public policy director Shivnath Thukral and general counsel Namrata Singh appeared before the panel on behalf of the company, search engine Google was represented by its country head (government affairs and public policy) Aman Jain and director (legal) Gitanjali Duggal.

Later, Google said in a statement that it has consistently invested in product changes, resources and personnel as part of its efforts to keep users safe in compliance with the local laws in India.

"We always welcome opportunities to engage in dialogue with the policy makers and share details of our efforts in combating illegal content and ensuring the safety of users across our platforms," a Google spokesperson said.

"We have consistently invested in significant product changes, resources and personnel, and have made significant progress in balancing the openness of our platforms with the responsibility of keeping the community safe in compliance with the local laws in the country," the spokesperson added.

Facebook and Google representatives were called days after Twitter officials deposed before the panel. In the last meeting, several members of the panel had categorically told Twitter that the rule of land is supreme not the social media platform's policies.

READ MORE: Reply in 2 days: Panel to Twitter on locking IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's account

READ MORE: After backlash, Twitter removes distorted map of India from its website

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