Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok will have to reveal users’ identities if Indian government agencies ask them to, according to the country’s controversial new rules for social media companies and messaging apps expected to be published later this month. The requirement comes as governments around the world are trying to hold social media companies more accountable for the content that circulates on their platforms, whether it’s fake news, child porn, racist invective or terrorism-related content. India’s new guidelines go further than most other countries’ by requiring blanket cooperation with government inquiries, no warrant or judicial order required.
India proposed these guidelines in December 2018 and asked for public comment. The Internet and Mobile Association of India, a trade group that counts Facebook, Amazon.com, and Alphabet’s Google among its members, responded that the requirements “would be a violation of the right to privacy recognized by the Supreme Court.”
But the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is expected to publish the new rules later this month without major changes, according to a government official familiar with the matter.
“The guidelines for intermediaries are under process,” said N.N. Kaul, the media adviser to the minister of electronics & information technology. “We cannot comment on the guidelines or changes till they are published.”
The provisions in the earlier draft had required platforms such as Google’s YouTube or ByteDance’s TikTok, Facebook or its Instagram and WhatsApp apps, to help the government trace the origins of a post within 72 hours of a request. The companies would also have to preserve their records for at least 180 days to aid government investigators, establish a brick-and-mortar operation within India and appoint both a grievance officer to deal with user complaints and a government liaison. The Ministry is still finalising the language and content.
The rules cover all social media and messaging apps with more than 5 million users. India, with 1.3 billion people, has about 500 million Internet users. It isn’t clear whether the identities of foreign users would be subject to the Indian government’s inquiries.
Law enforcement agencies around the world have been frustrated by tech companies that have refused to identify users, unlock devices or generally cooperate with government investigations, particularly in cases relating to terrorism.
In India, where the Internet — and fake news — are still relatively new phenomenon, a false report of rampant child abduction and organ harvesting circulated widely via WhatsApp, leading to mob violence and over three dozen fatal lynchings in 2017 and 2018.
WhatsApp refused a request from the government to reveal the origins of the rumours, citing its promise of privacy and end-to-end encryption for its 400 million Indian users. It instead offered to fund research into preventing the spread of fake news and mounted a public education campaign in the country, its biggest global market.
WhatsApp will “not compromise on security because that would make people less safe,” it said in a statement Wednesday, adding its global user base had reached over 2 billion. “For even more protection, we work with top security experts, employ industry leading technology to stop misuse as well as provide controls and ways to report issues — without sacrificing privacy.”
At the same time, tech companies and civil rights groups say the new rules are an invitation to abuse and censorship, as well as a burdensome requirement on new and growing companies.
In an open letter to IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, executives from Mozilla, GitHub, and Cloudflare said the guidelines could lead to “automated censorship” and “increase surveillance.“ In order to be able to trace the originator of content, platforms would basically be required to surveil their users, undermine encryption, and harm the fundamental right to privacy of Indian users, they said.
Companies such as Mozilla or Wikipedia wouldn’t fall under the new rules, the government official said. Browsers, operating systems, and online repositories of knowledge, software development platforms, are all exempt. Only social media platforms and messaging apps will be covered.
© 2020 Bloomberg LP
Global Social E-commerce Market Industry Share and Growth Analysis till 2025 – Market Demands …
“Global Social E-commerce Market Research Report presented by ORBIS RESEARCH exhibits a seamless and easily comprehensible description of the Social E-commerce market, emphasizing key inputs on market share, market demographics, size as well as valuation and voluminous growth rate. Further, this elaborate research report decoding the market also illustrates factual data on popular market techniques and business tactics that steer resilient growth in the Social E-commerce market even during sudden crisis situations such as COVID-19.
This Research Report evaluates the market growth rate and the industry value on the basis of growth inducing factors, market dynamics, and other related data. The data offered in this report is gathered based on the latest industry news, trends, as well as opportunities. This study offers a separate analysis of the major trends in the existing market, mandates and regulations, micro & macroeconomic indicators is also comprised in this report. By doing so, the study estimated the attractiveness of every major segment during the prediction period.
Looping onto the leading vendors of the Social E-commerce market, the research report recognizes several key manufacturers and strategizes the acquisitions and mergers players focusing on competing the global Social E-commerce market. The Social E-commerce market is categorized into several segmentation including type, application, and region. Moreover, it measures the sales and revenue during the forecast period with the help of recognizing the importance of several different factors aiding the market growth.
Top Leading Companies Profiled in Social E-commerce Market:
Xingin Information Technology
Shanghai Xunmeng Information Technology
Moreover, the report provides historical information with future forecast over the forecast period. Some of the important aspects analyzed in the report include market share, production, key regions, revenue rate as well as key players. This Social E-commerce report also provides the readers with detailed figures at which the Social E-commerce market was valued in the historical year and its expected growth in upcoming years.
The Social E-commerce market has its impact all over the globe. On global level Social E-commerce industry is segmented on the basis of product type, applications, and regions. It also focuses on market dynamics, Social E-commerce growth drivers, developing market segments and the market growth curve is offered based on past, present and future market data. The industry plans, news, and policies are presented at a global and regional level. For the stakeholders seeking for new investment opportunities, this research report works as a guide as it offers the in-depth study of the global Social E-commerce market.
Global Social E-commerce Market Segmented by Product Type
Content Guide Social E-commerce
Retail Social E-commerce
Sharing Social E-commerce
Global Social E-commerce Market Segmented by Application
Maternal and Child Supplies
Insightful Highlights: Social E-commerce Market
A thorough evaluation and detailed assessment of global Social E-commerce market.
Tangible and significant alterations in influential dynamics.
A thorough assessment of market segmentation.
Upcoming market segments, regional diversification.
Past, current and crucial forecast analysis, details on volume and value projections.
An in-depth reference of frontline players.
Details on market share and overall value assessment, global Social E-commerce market.
A crystal-clear sectioning on best industry practices and list of major players, global Social E-commerce market.
Seven Pointer Guide for Report Investment
1. An illustrative reference point determining market segmentation in Social E-commerce market.
2. Leading industry best practices and growth friendly initiatives by dominant players.
3. A detailed take on various market events, developments as well as tactical business decisions that have been systematically aligned by Orbis Research.
4. A complete documentation of historical, current events as well as future predictions concerning market value and volume that illustrate future growth probability in Social E-commerce market.
5. A methodical reference of the dominant alterations in market dynamics.
6. A thorough, in-depth analytical review of the Social E-commerce market.
7. A complete synopsis of major market events and developments for maximum reader comprehension.
Customization of the Report:
This report can be customized to meet the client’s requirements. Please connect with our sales team ([email protected]), who will ensure that you get a report that suits your needs.
Orbis Research (orbisresearch.com) is a single point aid for all your market research requirements. We have vast database of reports from the leading publishers and authors across the globe. We specialize in delivering customized reports as per the requirements of our clients. We have complete information about our publishers and hence are sure about the accuracy of the industries and verticals of their specialization. This helps our clients to map their needs and we produce the perfect required market research study for our clients.
Senior Manager Client Engagements
4144N Central Expressway,
Suite 600, Dallas,
Texas 75204, U.S.A.
Phone No.: USA: +1 (972)-362-8199 | IND: +91 895 659 5155″
Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Others Fined Over $1 Million Each for Not Appointing a Turkey Representative
Turkey on Wednesday fined Facebook, Twitter and three other social media companies for failing to appoint a country representative under a controversial law which came into force last month.
The legislation, passed in July, requires platforms with more than one million users to appoint representatives in Turkey that could implement court orders to remove contentious content or face heavy fines.
Turkey has ordered Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube and TikTok to pay TRY 10 million (roughly Rs. 9 crores) fines for failing to comply, Deputy Transport and Infrastructure Minister Omer Fatih Sayan tweeted.
If the networks fail to open local offices by the start of December, they will be fined an additional 30 million lira.
Failure to comply by early January would result in an advertising ban.
Should the social media companies still ignore Turkish law three months after the advertising ban, they will see bandwidth reductions of 50 percent and then by as much as 90 percent in the fifth and final stage.
Digital rights expert Yaman Akdeniz said any bandwidth reduction would start in April and reach 90 percent by May, making the platforms effectively inaccessible.
Akdeniz tweeted on Tuesday that only the private Russian social media firm VK had appointed a Turkish representative to date.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is one of the most popular leaders on social media with nearly 17 million followers and a very active presence.
But under his government, Turks have faced increasing prosecution over their social media posts, especially those accused of insulting the president.
Erdogan does not hide his disdain for social media, which he threatened to “wipe out” in 2014.
The new law was adopted after Erdogan’s anger over online insults of Finance Minister Berat Albayrak and his wife Esra, the president’s daughter, following their fourth child’s birth in June.
Turks are accustomed to limited access to websites and content, with Turkish courts submitting hundreds of content removal requests to Twitter over the past few years.
Are iPhone 12 mini, HomePod mini the Perfect Apple Devices for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Is Social Media the New Tobacco?
Over the last 25 years, the world has changed in remarkable ways.
To name a few – the world has become more connected, the Internet has become an integral part of our lives, and people carry around devices to stay tethered to the digital world. This has transformed how people communicate, socialize, do business, and live their lives.
There have been benefits as it’s created new opportunities and lowered barriers for anyone who wants to share their ideas or sell products. But, we’re also starting to see that there are profound drawbacks.
Rise of Social Media
These same principles apply to social media. In theory, it’s a great idea to give people a platform and let them form digital bonds with their friends and family to keep each other updated about their lives.
In reality, there’s increasing evidence that it’s creating more problems than it solves. It’s possible that our brains aren’t hard-wired to handle the stimulus of social media.
There are increasing amounts of isolation, political polarization, and mental health issues that are being tracked back to social media usage. It’s making us more connected but lonelier, angrier, and more distrustful of each other.
Despite users self-reporting that social media use makes them feel worse, they continue logging in more frequently and for longer periods.
Removing the moral layer, social media is a fantastic business. There’s a little marginal cost of adding new users. Many users become addicted to the product and encourage people they know to join. The network’s value increases as more people join which creates a wider and deeper moat.
The product is free, so rapid growth is possible. Users are monetized through advertising. Since social media companies have a considerable amount of information about their users through the content they consume and engage with, ads can be micro-targeted.
In their short history, the dominant social media companies like Facebook (FB), Tencent, Snap (SNAP), Twitter (TWTR), and Pinterest (PINS) have grown bigger and have been able to increase average revenue per users.
Great Business Model
It’s hard to imagine what will displace social media. Established social media companies with large user numbers benefit from the network effects and addictive nature of its product. Social media is likely to become even more influential in the coming years as other advertising channels continue to lose relevance.
Additionally, younger people are using social media to an even larger degree which means its influence and use are likely to continue growing in the coming years.
Most businesses get disrupted due to competition. Social media companies are harder to disrupt because their main asset is their network which competitors can’t recreate. A valuable network attracts more users, which in turn, makes their network more valuable.
Parallels to Tobacco Industry
We can gain some potential insight into the long-term path of social media companies by looking at the tobacco industry which is similar in so many ways.
Both have been great businesses solely in terms of delivering investment outperformance. Over the last decade, social media stocks have been one of the best performers in the market. The Global X Social Media ETF (SOCL) is up 310% since it IPO’d in late 2011, compared to the S&P 500’s 175% gain over this period.
The tobacco industry’s gains are even more impressive. $1 invested in tobacco in 1900 was worth over $6 million in 2020. Since its IPO in 1968, Altria (MO) has returned 18% a year which is more than double the S&P 500’s average return.
Both have negative externalities. Social media is affecting mental health and exacerbating political polarization. Similarly, tobacco use leads to negative, long-term health effects. Both also have an addictive product with high margins.
For tobacco, their outperformance against other sectors only started abating due to a foe that it couldn’t beat – the government. Smoking rates also started coming down due to public health campaigns and increasing awareness about the health consequences of smoking.
The business’ costs sharply rose due to lawsuits filed by the state and the federal government against the tobacco industry to hold them accountable for tobacco-related health costs. Another factor was increased regulation and taxes.
Regulation Is the Only Threat
I believe that the only thing that will halt social media’s power is the government in the form of increased oversight or regulations. Two potential actions could be limits on what kind of user information the companies can share with advertisers or increased accountability for what kind of content the platforms must moderate.
The tobacco industry spent prodigious sums on lobbying state and federal governments to delay its reckoning. Likely, the social media companies will also pursue this strategy.
However, the industry has adversaries on both sides of the aisle. On the Right, they are skeptical of so much power concentrated in Silicon Valley companies run by people who tend to lean to the left. So, there’s a concern of censorship and right-wing views being silenced.
On the Left, there’s a focus on how social media companies will prevent the spread of “misinformation” and deter their platforms from being used by foreign governments or political organizations to sow chaos.
The POWR Ratings are also bullish on most social media stocks.
Facebook (FB) has a Strong Buy rating with an “A” in all POWR components including Trade Grade, Buy & Hold Grade, Peer Grade, and Industry Rank. It’s ranked #4 out of 57 Internet stocks.
Twitter (TWTR) is rated a Buy with an “A” for Trade Grade and Industry Rank with a “B” for Buy & Hold Grade and Peer Grade. Among Internet stocks, it’s ranked #17 out of 57.
Pinterest (PINS) is rated a Strong Buy and has an “A” for Trade Grade, Peer Grade, and Industry Rank with a “B” for Buy & Hold Grade.
For the past century, tobacco stocks have outperformed by a significant margin. In recent years, this outperformance has started to wane, as fewer people are smoking, and there is an increasing regulatory burden that eats into profit margins.
The only thing that can stop them will be the type of things that halted the tobacco company’s outperformance – government action. While this is a longer-term threat, there is going to be increasing scrutiny as they get more influential especially with the upcoming election.
The tobacco industry’s experience also teaches that until this threat materializes, the stocks should continue trending higher. Even after it materializes, the bigger companies can gain more market share as they are best-equipped to handle the increased cost and complexity of more regulations.
Want More Great Investing Ideas?
FB shares were trading at $298.55 per share on Wednesday afternoon, up $3.11 (+1.05%). Year-to-date, FB has gained 45.46%, versus a 11.63% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
About the Author: Jaimini Desai
Jaimini Desai has been a financial writer and reporter for nearly a decade. His goal is to help readers identify risks and opportunities in the markets. As a reporter, he covered the bond market, earnings, and economic data, publishing multiple times a day to readers all over the world. Learn more about Jaimini’s background, along with links to his most recent articles. More…