Cyberspace: Google against proposal for industry’s self-regulatory body

*There is lack of consensus as a Google executive recently discloses to counterparts in a recent meeting that the company is unconvinced about the merits of a self-regulatory body in India

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Google has serious reservations about creating a self-regulatory body to hear user complaints against social media firms in India.

It is a proposal that has support from Meta and Twitter, agency reports said.

It is recalled that India, June 2022, had proposed creating a government panel to hear complaints from users about content moderation decisions.

However, the government stated that it is open to the idea of a self-regulatory body, if the industry is willing.

Late July sources also indicated that Meta, Twitter, Google, and other large global technology firms were drawing up the structure for such a self-regulatory body.

Now, it seems Google isn’t on board, report said.

By implication, this means the lack of consensus among the Big Techs increases the likelihood of a government panel being formed.

It was learnt that Meta (Facebook) and Twitter are keen to avoid this approach as they fear the government and regulatory overreach in India.

Meanwhile, at a closed-door meeting this week, an executive from Google told other attendees that the company was unconvinced about the merits of a self-regulatory body.

The tech giant’s executive at the forum was also quoted to have said that creating such a body would mean Google could be forced to reinstate content even if it violated its internal policies.

Representatives of Snap and ShareChat also voiced concern about a self-regulatory system at the meeting.

Their delegates also disclosed the matter required much more consultation, including with civil society.

Government vs. social media

Tension over the social media content decisions has been a particularly thorny issue in India for some time.

ConsumerConnect gathered that several social media companies often receive takedown requests from the government or remove content proactively.

YouTube, for example, removed 1.2 million videos in the first quarter of this year that were in violation of its guidelines, the highest in any country in the world, report stated.

Twitter has faced backlash after it blocked accounts of influential Indians, including politicians, citing violation of its policies.

It also locked horns with the Indian Government 2021, when the global tech giant declined to comply fully with orders to take down accounts the government said spread misinformation.

Kindly Share This Story