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Google becomes first intermediary to publish compliance report, Facebook to follow suit

Google becomes first intermediary to publish compliance report, Facebook to follow suit
Photo Credit: Reuters
30 Jun, 2021

After moving Delhi High Court for being mischaracterised as a social media intermediary instead of an intermediary, search engine giant Google published the first compliance report in keeping with the Information technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021.

In the monthly report, which has data from April 2021, Google disclosed that it received 27,762 complaints from all of its significant social media intermediaries (SSMIs), including video and audio streaming platform Youtube. Nearly 96.2% of the complaints were related to copyright infringement.

Google also removed 59,350 items or unique URL during the period, based on violation of community guidelines or content policies or basis legal requirement for removal. Of the removals, 98.4% were related to copyright violation. Google did not specify in its report how many items were removed by its automation platform or request for takedown submitted by the government during the period for its SSMIs. 

Meanwhile, social media platform Facebook has said that it will publish its first monthly report on compliance on July.

In a separate statement, Facebook said that the final report for the period of May 15 to June 15 will also contain details on user complaints received and action taken for its group company and messenger app WhatsApp which has 530 million users in India, according to government data.

“In accordance with the IT Rules, we’ll publish an interim report for the period May 15-June 15 on July 2. This report will contain details of the content that we have removed proactively using our automated tools,” said a spokesperson for Facebook in a statement. The spokesperson further added, “The final report will be published on July 15 containing details of user complaints received and action taken. The report on July 15 will also contain data related to WhatsApp, which is currently being validated.”

According to the new intermediary guidelines which came into effect on May 26, the government of India requires significant social media intermediaries in India with a registered user base of over 50 lakh to file a monthly compliance report of complaints received by them and action taken.