Parliamentary panel tells Facebook and Google to comply by new IT rules

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology directed Facebook and Google to comply with new IT rules and follow rules of the country, according to ANI.

Sharing statistics of manipulated content flagged by the tech giant, Google officials said, "Between January & March 2021, YouTube removed over 9.5 million videos for violating its community guidelines. 95 percent of these videos were first flagged by machines rather than humans. Of those detected by machines, 27.8 percent never received a single view & 39 percent received 1-10 views".

"During this same quarter, YouTube terminated over 2.2 million channels for violating its Community Guidelines. In this same period. YouTube removed more than 1 billion comments, the majority of which were spam and were detected automatically", Google officials informed the committee.

Parliamentary panel for IT headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also directed the secretariat to seek in writing from Twitter within two days on what basis Twitter accounts of IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad & Shashi Tharoor were blocked. According to ANI, letter to will be sent today. The panel further said, "If the committee does not get a satisfactory reply from Twitter, then the committee can summon the Twitter official".

Parliament Standing Committee on Information Technology (I&T) has issued summons to Facebook India and Google India asking them to send their representatives to appear before it on Tuesday to hear their views on safeguarding citizens' rights and prevention of misuse of social online news media platforms.

The meeting was held at Main Committee Room, Parliament House Annexe in presence of committee members, officials of Ministry of I&T and the representatives of Facebook and Google. Senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor is the Chairman of the committee, which includes 31 members -- 21 from the Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha.

The committee had also asked Twitter to give a representation to the panel, headed by Congress Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor, on how to prevent misuse of social media and online news platforms. The committee had told the social media platform that it will have to comply with the government's rules.

Twitter India's representatives had told the panel on June 19 they follow their own policies during this meeting. Following this, the panel had categorically told Twitter that the "law of the land is supreme" and not the company's policies.

The Centre notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 on February 25, 2021. The Rules have come into effect from May 26, 2021.

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