Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad while announcing new social media rules revealed that WhatsApp is the most used app in India. He shared the entire stats about the usage of social media apps in India and WhatsApp topped the charts with YouTube in the second spot, followed by Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
During a press conference, Prasad revealed that WhatsApp has over 53 crores users, followed by YouTube which has over 44.8 crores users in India. Facebook has around 41 crores, Instagram has 21 crores while Twitter has the lost number of users—1.5 crores. This could also be due to the recent shift of Indian users from Twitter to the Koo app, which is the Indian alternative of Twitter.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) announced a new set of rules for the OTT platforms, social media platforms, and digital media. Talking about the new rules, MeITY minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said during a press conference, “We have not framed any new law. We have framed these rules under the existing IT Act. We are trusting the platforms to follow these regulations. The focus of this guideline is on self-regulation.”
Prasad said that the government wants social media platforms to introduce a mechanism for better verification of users.”Social media platforms upon being asked either by a court order or a govt authority will be required to disclose the first originator of mischievous tweet or message as the case may be,” Prasad said.
“All social media platforms are welcome in India but there shouldn’t be double standards. If an attack takes place on Capitol Hill, then social media supports police action, but if there’s an aggressive attack on Red Fort, then you’ve double standards. This is plainly not acceptable,” he added.
The government wants the social media companies including Facebook, Twitter and others to have Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person and Resident Grievance Officer. All these officers should be residents of India. The Chief compliance officer will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the acts and rules, the Nodal person will be responsible for coordinating with law enforcement authorities and the grievance officer will perform the functions under Grievance Redressal Mechanism.
Government has also asked social media companies to build a strong user verification process.” Users who wish to verify their accounts voluntarily shall be provided with an appropriate mechanism to verify their accounts and provided with a demonstrable and visible mark of verification,” said Prasad during the conference.