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#DigitalMediaEthics – Government’s Letter to Significant Social Media Intermediaries (SSMI)

May 27, 2021

The Government of India through its Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has sent a letter dated May 26, 2021(No. 16(4)2020-CLeS), to “All Significant Social Media Intermediaries (SSMI)“. The said letter pertains to Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which has been the subject of much debate in the media[1].

SSMIs or Significant Social Media Intermediaries were defined under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, under which a SSMI was defined as a social media intermediary having fifty lakhs (5 million) registered users in India. More information about SSMIs and the aforesaid new rules can be accessed at https://ssrana.in/articles/analysis-of-the-information-technology-intermediary-guidelines-and-digital-media-ethics-code-rules-2021/.

In this significant development, the Government vide its aforementioned letter dated May 26, 2021 has stated that the additional due diligence required from SSMIs have come into effect from May 26, and the SSMIs in question have now been called upon to provide the below details:

  1. Name of App./Website/ service falling within the scope of SSMI;
  2. Details of:
  • Chief Compliance Officer;
  • Nodal Contact Person;
  • Resident Grievance Officer; and
  • Physical Contact Address in India.

3. Details of the status of compliance with the said rules.

It is notable that the government vide the said letter has also requested an immediate response from the SSMIs in question. It would be interesting to see how these SSMIs respond to this latest move from the government in this impasse.

[1] https://spiderimg.amarujala.com/assets/applications/2021/05/26/meity-to-platforms_60ae4c4d158eb.pdf

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