With new IT rules in effect, the Indian government could ask social media platforms to trace source of content and even remove it within 24 hours. Minister of State for Electronics and IT Sanjay Dhotre on Thursday proposed the new IT norms to the Parliament, which demand automated tools to identify and remove or disable prohibited content from social media.

The government is finalising the new IT rules for social media companies, which will be relevant to some big names in the industry such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok and others. The government will hold a whip hand over the type of content that goes on social media platforms.

Demanding social media platforms to trace the source of the information has been a long-running battle between the companies and the government. While corporations like Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, resisted complying with the government's demands on this topic, they argued in doing so they would go against their privacy policy and compromise end-to-end encryption.

New IT rules for social media platforms in India are being preparedREUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

Ravi Shankar Prasad, IT and law minister, who met with Facebook global executive Nick Clegg in September, is adamant in his demand asking Facebook to provide details of the people behind widespread of fake news and provocative messages.

The proposed IT rules make it clear that social media platforms must remove unlawful content within 24 hours when served with a court order or notified by relevant government authorities, Dhotre added, PTI reported.

Finally, the new amendments demand that any company with more than 50 lakh users must have an office in India along with a nodal officer to liaise with local law enforcement officials on matters that challenge IT rules.

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Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram messages could be traced soonKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

While it is not clear by when the new IT rules will come into effect, it is expected to happen by January. The Supreme Court had given three months' time in October to frame new rules on the social media regulation, to which the Union government said they would be notified by January 15, 2020.

But the bigger questions remain unanswered. Will US-based companies, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, comply with Indian IT regulations that could also breach their privacy policy? Can there be a workaround to this matter that doesn't compromise security on these platforms and still comply with government regulations to curb misuse of social media? It remains to be seen. Stay tuned for updates.