India introduces new regulation on intermediary liability for online content

India has announced its new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 to regulate social media platforms, streaming services, and digital news outlets. 


As stated in the press release, intermediaries, including social media platforms, will be required to comply with these main rules:

  • Follow due diligence obligations, otherwise safe harbor protections will not apply to them.
  • Establish a grievance redressal mechanism for receiving and resolving complaints from users or victims.
  • Ensure online safety and dignity of users – especially women – via removal of content within 24 hours of receiving a complaint.
  • Significant social media intermediaries (based on number of users) must also comply with additional due diligence obligations, such as publishing monthly compliance reports, maintaining an address in India, and appointing a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person, and resident grievance officer.

According to Associated Press, Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s IT, Law and Justice minister, stated that social media platforms will be required to remove illegal content as quickly as possible, but within no more than 36 hours after they receive a government or legal order.