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WhatsApp appoints grievance officer for India

Messaging platform updates appointment on its website.

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KOLKATA: Amid talks over implementation of new IT rules, messaging platform WhatsApp has appointed Paresh B Lal as grievance officer in India.

WhatsApp has updated the new appointment on its website so users can contact Paresh B through a post box in Banjara Hills at Hyderabad in Telangana state. As per a PTI report, other large digital companies like Google have also started updating their websites to reflect the respective appointments of grievance officers in these organisations. Twitter also informed the Delhi high court that it has appointed the grievance redressal officer.

The government issued new intermediary guidelines for social media platforms on 25 February with a three-month deadline. It directed intermediaries to appoint a grievance officer based in India for a time-bound redressal of user complaints. As per the rules, a social media intermediary is also required to appoint a chief compliance officer, a nodal contact person for 24x7 coordination. They will also have to publish a monthly compliance report mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken.

After the rules came into effect on 26 May, the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) wrote to “Significant Social Media Intermediaries” (SSMIs) asking for details of compliance.

Under the new “the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules, 2021,” SSMIs are defined as social media companies with more than 50 lakh registered users. Hence, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram fall under the SSMIs category.

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