In order to comply with IT rules, social media intermediaries like Clubhouse must appoint a complaints officer in addition to publishing transparency reports and a variety of other requirements.

In accordance with theInformation Technology Rules (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Code of Ethics) 2021, Clubhouse has appointed a new complaints officer in India. Clubhouse named Alpha Exploration is listed as the Complaints Officer under Dan Ashton and the address provided is San Francisco.

Clubhouse is an audio-based social networking platform where users communicate in voice chat rooms. It can accommodate up to 5000 users in one chat room. Information on the complaints officer can be found on the platform Knowledge center Side.

According to the new IT rules, the complaints officer for major social media brokers should be an Indian resident and employee of the platform. In response to a query from MediaNama, Clubhouse clarified that since it did not meet the threshold of a major social media intermediary (a social media intermediary with more than 50 registered lakh users in India), it would be an employee of Clubhouse who is not currently based in India as a complaints officer specifically for Indian users. The platform also stated that it is still recruiting for the same position in India.

What do the IT rules require?

The IT rules require social media intermediaries to:

  • Appointment of officials: It is mandatory for major social media intermediaries Appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, a Nodal contact person, and a Complaints Officer to whom users can submit complaints. However, the officials must be Indian residents and employees of the company.
  • Publish reports: Regular compliance reports must be published every month.
  • Deactivate content within a certain period of time: Social media intermediaries must deactivate / deactivate content within 36 hours in the event of a court order and within 24 hours in the event of a user complaint.
  • Deactivating content with automated tools: Technology-based measures such as automated tools must be used to identify information depicts rape, child sexual abuse (CSA), etc.
  • Enable identification of the first sender of the message: This requirement could violate the end-to-end encryption of instant messaging apps like WhatsApp.

Other social media sites and their dates

The government had announced the IT rules in February and granted a time window of three months for compliance. The following social media intermediaries have already appointed a complaints officer in India:

  • Twitter: Vinay Prakash is responsible for handling complaints and ensuring compliance Twitter. The announcement comes after a three-month dispute between Twitter and the government over Twitter’s failure to comply with IT rules. Twitter initially appointed attorney Dharmendra Chatur as its complaints officer, but the government objected that he was not a Twitter employee. Vinay Prakash’s appointment was also initially on an interim basis and only became permanent in August.
  • Facebook and Instagram: appointment Spurthy Priya as his complaints officer
  • Whatsapp: appointment Paresh B Lal as his complaints officer
  • LinkedIn: appointment Tanya Mampilly as a representative for the complaints process.
  • Telegram: appointment Abhimanyu Yadav as a representative for the complaints process.

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