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Social media compliance with govt requests shoots up after Jammu & Kashmir move

Govt committee meeting every other day to review posts; Facebook’s compliance rate over 90%.

Sep 11, 2019, 07.38 AM IST
Overall, terms related to Article 370 trended about 2-3 times more daily compared with the top trending hashtags on Twitter, according to AdLift.
New Delhi: Social media’s compliance with government takedown requests on posts has shot up, in some cases to over 90% — and the inflection point, say officials familiar with the matter, was the abrogation of Article 370.

Since August 5, when the government took the decisions on Jammu & Kashmir, the committee that reviews social media posts has been meeting “every other day”, an official said.

“Meetings with these platforms used to happen once a month earlier, but now we are meeting them almost every other day to discuss how to tackle this issue of fake, malicious news and taking down wrong/ fake information from their platforms, as activity on the media platforms has grown exponentially since,” this official said. Those who spoke on this matter did so off record.

Officials said Facebook has registered the highest compliance of over 90% while Twitter is at 60%+. The committee that monitors social media content draws its members from ministries of home, electronics & IT and I&B. Officials also said once the new social intermediary norms are notified, compliance will have to be 100% within a stipulated time.

According to digital marketing firm AdLift, hashtags like #JammuAndKashmir and #Article370 were tweeted, retweeted, liked or viewed by more than 85 lakh users in the month after August 5.

Top Trending Hashtags
Overall, terms related to Article 370 trended about 2-3 times more daily compared with the top trending hashtags on Twitter, according to AdLift.

In a statement, Twitter said its overall compliance to remove any “platform manipulative content” had grown 200% around the globe last year but refused to share any India-specific data on the matter.

“With regards to official legal requests made to Twitter under Indian law, we publish actions taken twice a year in the Twitter Transparency Report for purposes of public awareness and disclosure. Improving the collective health of public conversation is our number one priority. Platform manipulation, including spam and other attempts to undermine the public conversation, is a clear violation of Twitter rules,” a Twitter spokesperson said. Facebook and WhatsApp didn’t respond to queries sent by ET.

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