Apple Messages is Eliminated by India’s IT Ministry on its New Social Media Laws Roll Out

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Apple Messages has been withdrawn from its new social media regulation by the Indian IT ministry. The IT department no longer requires Apple Messages to adhere to its social media rules, such as appointing a local complaint staff.

Apple Messages is now subject to new laws

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) previously banned numerous social media apps and asked Apple to remove TikTok as well.

MEITY now counts Apple Messages in a separate regulation as a social media platform that complies with the new Indian laws.

According to the Business Standard, MEITY withdrew the letter to Apple asking the company to comply with the country’s social media regulations.

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Unspecified sources said the move is in response to Apple’s successful argument that Apple Messages is not a social media app, but a communication tool. According to the report, It has been found that Apple’s Message is not an app that is available to everyone as it can only be downloaded by Apple users.

Apple’s iMessage is an SMS-like feature of the phone, which is why MEITY withdrew the letter it issued to Apple asking it to demand compliance.

India’s new social media regulations, which went fully into effect in May, place certain demands on social media companies.

According to Apple Insider, companies must appoint specific officers to be responsible for user complaints, and each of the officials must be based in India.

The Information Technology Rules 2021 apply to social media companies whose platforms have more than 5 million users in India. The iPhone manufacturer’s messaging app has fewer users, which is one of the reasons why MEITY has withdrawn its letter to Apple.

India’s social media rules

In a report by TechWire, the new social media rules require that social media companies also enable the traceability of encrypted messages and set up local offices that must be staffed by senior officials from India to deal with user complaints and law enforcement.

The new social media rules have been in the works since 2018.

It was introduced after Twitter refused to obey some instructions from India. The government pointed out that Twitter could not justify its non-compliance. However, the microblogging site pushed back, suggesting that the new rules could invade users’ privacy.

Aside from local offices and follow-up messages, companies are also required to publish a monthly compliance report to disclose the exact number of inquiries they have received and what action they have taken to resolve the complaints.

Companies will also be required to offer a voluntary option to those who wish to verify their accounts.

The new rules will go into effect for smaller businesses, but large companies like Apple, Google, Netflix, Twitter, and Facebook have three months to adhere to.

India compiled these guidelines because citizens requested a mechanism to address their complaints on social media.

The country has been working on a law for intermediaries since 2018 and 2019 and is now expanding the scope to cover streaming services and other online news publications.

Related article: Microsoft CEO wants Apple to bring iMessage to Windows after Windows 11 is released

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Written by Sophie Webster

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