Social media that does not accept the amendment to the IT Act will have no legal protection in the country. The central government has decided to remove the legal protection available as an intermediate to regulate social media without restricting its activities. With this, it will become a legal obligation of the respective social media to ensure that all the posts posted by the members are not defamatory to anyone else.
The action will be taken after receiving a response from social media regarding the implementation of the new conditions. With the loss of intermediate protection, social media will be collectively responsible for all customer feedback and posts. Social media is no longer a defendant because of its intermediate status, including in defamation cases.
The Union IT Ministry had yesterday asked social media to report on the steps taken to implement the new law amendment proposals. The law requires the appointment of three-tier grievance redressal officers. The central position is that there is no compromise on this.
But no companies have hired officials yet. The challenge is that officials in India are responsible for the legal action that the company faces. Google and Facebook have said they are ready to comply with the law, including hiring officials. WhatsApp, which has taken the position that privacy is being violated, will take further action depending on the court decision. Twitter, which has already been at loggerheads with the central government, has not yet made that clear.