In its plea Google told the court that it is “merely an aggregator” and that the IT Rules 2021 define social media intermediaries as platforms that enable online interaction, or allow for creation and uploading of content.
Representative Image: Google, Facebook, Twitter mobile apps
The Delhi High Court on June 2 issued a notice on the plea by Google against it being termed as a social media intermediary, CNBC-TV18 reported.
The petition came as Google is seeking an exemption from the IT Rules of 2021, applicable for social media intermediaries.
Earlier in April, a single-judge bench of the Delhi High Court had termed Google as a social media intermediary.
In its plea, Google told the court that it is “merely an aggregator” and that the IT Rules 2021 define social media intermediaries as platforms that enable online interaction or allow for the creation and uploading of content.
“Google is an intermediary, not a social media intermediary. No coercive action should be taken against Google for non-compliance,” it said.
Tech giants are scrambling to comply with the Indian government’s new rules for social media use, even as delay in implementing them has threatened to get the platforms banned in India.
On February 25, the Centre had introduced new rules regarding the use of social media and the regulation of streaming services, in an attempt to crack down on misinformation and have oversight over social media platforms, their practices, and what content over-the-top (OTT) platforms can publish, and for whom.
The new rules were brought in as The Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
The idea is to have major social media platforms develop a redressal mechanism with “soft touch” oversight from the government, according to Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. He added that the focus of the rules is to empower ordinary users of social media for whom fake news and financial fraud are one of the many big challenges.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had given a three-month deadline to the organisations to accept the guidelines by May 25.