Issue Brief on “The Curious Case of Silicon Values in India: Social Media Regulations Gone Awry”

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One of the core promises of the internet is to provide extraordinary freedom to common people, without the control of money and politics. However, India has recently announced new rules for social media platforms under the “Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021[1] posing a direct challenge to this promise. These guidelines cater to social media platforms, messaging services and numerous other online portals. The main agenda is to monitor harmful content, to counter the spread of fake news, and to curb the abuse of social media, to settle personal or corporate rivalries by way of sharing morphed images of women.

These new regulations will be implemented from mid-May 2021.[2] The new rules will directly affect silicon giants like Facebook, Google and their subsidiaries (Facebook owned WhatsApp and Google owned YouTube, Twitter etc.), and other corporate giants like Amazon, Netflix etc. working in India.

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