Facebook, Netflix Face Fresh Scrutiny As India Announces New Rules

Facebook, Netflix Face Fresh Scrutiny As India Announces New Rules

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The new rules replace a previous code from 2011. (File)

India joined the global regulatory push to rein in Silicon Valley technology giants, tightening rules that govern how social media and streaming companies do business in the world's biggest democracy.

The new rules will require the likes of Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. to take down unlawful content quicker, Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in an online briefing Thursday. Streaming services such as Netflix Inc., Google's YouTube and Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime Video face stricter rules over content.

Already under scrutiny from Australia and Europe to their home turf of the U.S., the tech giants can now add their most important emerging market to the list of countries whose regulators are paying closer attention. Policy changes have the potential to slow down the companies in a market that's already the largest for some of them in terms of the number of users.

"Governments everywhere are trying to take control of the free flow of information and not relinquish it to any one social or technology company," said Ashutosh Sharma, research director at Forrester Research Inc. "We're moving towards a world where social media will be regulated in some form or the other."

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