The government has informed the Parliament that the IT ministry has not received any proposal to set up a regulator for social media.

The government, however, has released Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, under the IT Act that specifies the due diligence to be followed by all the intermediaries, including the social media intermediaries.

Earlier in February 2021, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had notified the new regulation to govern the digital media industry including social media platforms, digital news and over-the-top (OTT) platforms.

As per the new rules, social media platforms have been mandated to take down flagged posts within 36 hours of receiving a notice while encrypted messaging apps have been directed to trace the originator of contentious messages. Further, the platforms are also required to introduce a mechanism for voluntary verification of identity of users as a means to curb fake and anonymous posts on social media.

The new rules related to social media platforms are to be handled by the IT ministry while the Information and Broadcasting ministry will look after content related issues on entertainment apps and online news portals.