Developed in India, Koo was the first social media intermediary to say that it would comply with the new IT rules.
Koo, a homegrown microblogging platform, published its second compliance report for the month of July 2021, as mandated by Rule 4(d) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, notified by the Indian government in February this year. The report revealed that it had removed 498 Koos reported by its community; in June, the company had taken down as many as 1,253 Koos. The company did not elaborate on the nature of these complaints. Koos are posts that users upload on the platform along the lines of tweets for Twitter.
“Rule 4(d) of the IT Rules, 2021, specify that Significant Social Media Intermediaries (who have more than 5 million users) must publish periodic compliance report every month mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken thereon, and the number of specific communication links or parts of information that the intermediary has removed or disabled access to in pursuance of any proactive monitoring conducted by using automated tools or any other relevant information as may be specified.” — IT Rules 2021
Why it matters? On February 25 this year, the central government notified the IT Rules, 2021, which made sweeping changes to social media in the country. The rules led to a tightening of the regulations under which social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and others operated in India. The new rules stated that significant social media intermediaries (social media companies with more than 5 million users in India) are required to appoint a chief compliance officer, and a resident grievance officer, a nodal contact person, and enable traceability of content on the platform, among others.
What does Koo’s compliance report reveal?
Koo was one of the first companies to comply with the new rules ahead of the May 25, 2021 deadline. In its second report, the number of Koos reported by its community has declined from 5,502 to 3,431 in July. It registered a drop of 37 percent compared to the figures revealed in June.
- The company said that it took action by removing 498 of these posts whereas it resorted to blurring, ignoring, overlaying, warning, etc., for the rest (2,933) of the posts.
- When it came to its own moderation, Koo flagged 65,280 posts proactively out of which 1,887 were taken down from the platform. The remaining posts witnessed other types of action, as mentioned above, taken against them.
- Koos that were proactively flagged increased by more than 10,000 from 54,235 Koos proactively flagged in June.
- In June, the company had also removed 1,996 Koos (under proactive monitoring) which is 109 more than the Koos taken down in July.
Where do other social media platforms stand vis à vis compliance?
WhatsApp: The messaging platform had deactivated 2 million accounts in India from May 15 to June 15, 2021. It said that it had acted on 63 ban appeals out of the 204 it received. It also received 345 grievances under topics such as Account Support, Ban Appeal, Product Support, Safety issues, and other support.
Facebook: The social media platform received 646 grievances, and it responded to all of them. These grievances concerned a range of topics like impersonation, bullying, nudity, access to accounts, requests for access to personal data, abusive content, issues with how Facebook processes personal data, and so on. Half of these grievances were resolved through pre-established channels provided by Facebook whereas over 47 pieces of content had action taken against them following special reviews.
Instagram: The social media platform was subject to 36 grievances out of which action was taken against 20 of them. Over ten such complaints were resolved through pre-established channels provided by the company.
Twitter: The microblogging platform also released its compliance report around the same time revealing that Twitter’s Grievance Redressal Officer received 94 grievances for the period between May 26 and June 26. It led to action against over 100 URLs. Twitter was forced to act after the Delhi High Court criticised the social media platform for not complying with the Rules amidst a tussle with the Indian government regarding the same.
- New Facebook Inc. Compliance Reports Show WhatsApp Banned Over 2 Million Accounts In India
- Delhi High Court Gives Twitter Two Days To Provide Timeframe On IT Rules Compliance
- Koo Releases First IT Rules-Mandated Compliance Report On Content Removals In India
- Centre Asks Social Media Firms To Provide Details Of Compliance With IT Rules 2021; Impact Of Non-Compliance
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