India withdraws Apple Messages from new social media regulations

Posted:
in iOS
India's IT ministry has reportedly withdrawn its demand that Apple Messages comply with a series of social media rules, such as appointing local complaint staff.

Messages on an iPhone
Messages on an iPhone


India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has previously banned many apps and asked Apple to remove TikTok. Now in separate regulations, it reportedly counted Apple Messages as a social media platform subject to new Indian laws.

Now according to India's Business Standard, MEITY has withdrawn a letter sent to Apple requiring compliance with the regulations. Unspecified sources say that the move is in response to Apple successfully arguing that Messages is not a social media app.

"Apple's iMessage is not an app available that can be downloaded by anyone," the sources told Business Standard. "It is a SMS like feature of the phone and hence MEITY has withdrawn a letter issued to Apple for seeking compliance."

India's new social media regulations, which came into force on May 26, 2021, place certain requirements on qualifying companies. Chiefly, they must appoint specific officers responsible for complaints, each of whom must be resident in India.

The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 apply to social media firms whose platforms have more than 5 million users within India. According to Business Standard, Apple Messages has fewer users, and this is another reason for MEITY withdrawing its letter.

Apple Messages, often referred to as iMessages, replaced the regular text messages application on iPhones with iOS 3.0 in 2009. It is about to be updated again with more new features in the forthcoming iOS 15.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,279member
    Hmm, there's a bit of a blurred line, when you can have 20+ people in a group chat, you're heading into social media territory.  I think there's probably a viable argument that some of the laws around responsible social media should apply to messaging apps which support larger groups.  I would be surprised if this is the last we hear of this type of thing.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,167member
    While some social media platforms include chat features between individuals or to a group, this isn't what defines a social media platform. In much the same way that a conference call isn't social media. Calling such platforms social media requires twisting the term "social" to mean any other contact without any kind of logic or limitation.

    Social media includes public forum and discovery components. To use an example which demonstrates the difference: a person on a social media platform can choose to make a post which can be seen by other unknown users or the general public. This post can also be shared and forwarded in a way that links back to the original poster. All of these are absent in group chat environments such as Apple Messages, Zoom calls and so on.

    One can attempt to argue that certain features of chat resemble social media, but these are tenuous and rely on an ignorant audience.
    thtqwerty52TRAGapplguyentropysscatzMplsPpichaelwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,279member
    While some social media platforms include chat features between individuals or to a group, this isn't what defines a social media platform. In much the same way that a conference call isn't social media. Calling such platforms social media requires twisting the term "social" to mean any other contact without any kind of logic or limitation.

    Social media includes public forum and discovery components. To use an example which demonstrates the difference: a person on a social media platform can choose to make a post which can be seen by other unknown users or the general public. This post can also be shared and forwarded in a way that links back to the original poster. All of these are absent in group chat environments such as Apple Messages, Zoom calls and so on.

    One can attempt to argue that certain features of chat resemble social media, but these are tenuous and rely on an ignorant audience.
    I don't think the pertinent argument is the taxonomy of whether group chat is really social media, it's whether the laws that are being designed for social media should also apply to group chat.  And that depends on the purpose of the laws.  I could see there being some cross-classification application for laws around cyber bullying, for example, or for moderation of hate groups using the platform.
    edited July 16 muthuk_vanalingamlarryjw
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Sounds like a good policy all countries should adopt. Sure would have helped Myanmar.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    mSakmSak Posts: 5member
    crowley said:
    While some social media platforms include chat features between individuals or to a group, this isn't what defines a social media platform. In much the same way that a conference call isn't social media. Calling such platforms social media requires twisting the term "social" to mean any other contact without any kind of logic or limitation.

    Social media includes public forum and discovery components. To use an example which demonstrates the difference: a person on a social media platform can choose to make a post which can be seen by other unknown users or the general public. This post can also be shared and forwarded in a way that links back to the original poster. All of these are absent in group chat environments such as Apple Messages, Zoom calls and so on.

    One can attempt to argue that certain features of chat resemble social media, but these are tenuous and rely on an ignorant audience.
    I don't think the pertinent argument is the taxonomy of whether group chat is really social media, it's whether the laws that are being designed for social media should also apply to group chat.  And that depends on the purpose of the laws.  I could there being some cross-classification application for laws around cyber bullying, for example, or for moderation of hate groups using the platform.
    iMessages is exactly an SMS platform and not social media. If India does not apply its social media rules to SMS platforms, it shouldn't apply it to iMessages either.

    EsquireCatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,279member
    mSak said:
    crowley said:
    While some social media platforms include chat features between individuals or to a group, this isn't what defines a social media platform. In much the same way that a conference call isn't social media. Calling such platforms social media requires twisting the term "social" to mean any other contact without any kind of logic or limitation.

    Social media includes public forum and discovery components. To use an example which demonstrates the difference: a person on a social media platform can choose to make a post which can be seen by other unknown users or the general public. This post can also be shared and forwarded in a way that links back to the original poster. All of these are absent in group chat environments such as Apple Messages, Zoom calls and so on.

    One can attempt to argue that certain features of chat resemble social media, but these are tenuous and rely on an ignorant audience.
    I don't think the pertinent argument is the taxonomy of whether group chat is really social media, it's whether the laws that are being designed for social media should also apply to group chat.  And that depends on the purpose of the laws.  I could there being some cross-classification application for laws around cyber bullying, for example, or for moderation of hate groups using the platform.
    iMessages is exactly an SMS platform and not social media. If India does not apply its social media rules to SMS platforms, it shouldn't apply it to iMessages either.
    Contrary argument - maybe they should apply some aspects of the rules to SMS platforms too, if they have relevance, and if it possible.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,016member
    iMessage is a private conversation sent only to the people selected. It can’t  be more generally available, or discoverable. Thus not social media.


    MplsPthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    mSakmSak Posts: 5member
    crowley said:
    mSak said:
    crowley said:
    While some social media platforms include chat features between individuals or to a group, this isn't what defines a social media platform. In much the same way that a conference call isn't social media. Calling such platforms social media requires twisting the term "social" to mean any other contact without any kind of logic or limitation.

    Social media includes public forum and discovery components. To use an example which demonstrates the difference: a person on a social media platform can choose to make a post which can be seen by other unknown users or the general public. This post can also be shared and forwarded in a way that links back to the original poster. All of these are absent in group chat environments such as Apple Messages, Zoom calls and so on.

    One can attempt to argue that certain features of chat resemble social media, but these are tenuous and rely on an ignorant audience.
    I don't think the pertinent argument is the taxonomy of whether group chat is really social media, it's whether the laws that are being designed for social media should also apply to group chat.  And that depends on the purpose of the laws.  I could there being some cross-classification application for laws around cyber bullying, for example, or for moderation of hate groups using the platform.
    iMessages is exactly an SMS platform and not social media. If India does not apply its social media rules to SMS platforms, it shouldn't apply it to iMessages either.
    Contrary argument - maybe they should apply some aspects of the rules to SMS platforms too, if they have relevance, and if it possible.
    Ok, so what specifically are those rules and procedures that should apply, and why.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,167member
    I wrote my message in direct response to you crowley as you made an argument likening group chat to social media.

    While there are people on these forums who blindly support Apple, there are a far greater numbers of people in these forums who are blindly anti-apple. Your post history and the meandering repositioning of your argument here are demonstrations of this.

    The forums don't need either of these groups. That's not discourse, it's cheerleading.
    MplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,160member
    crowley said:
    Hmm, there's a bit of a blurred line, when you can have 20+ people in a group chat, you're heading into social media territory.  I think there's probably a viable argument that some of the laws around responsible social media should apply to messaging apps which support larger groups.  I would be surprised if this is the last we hear of this type of thing.
    Sorry, as others have pointed out, you clearly don’t understand what constitutes social media. Communication is by definition ‘social,’ but that does not make is social media.

    This decision is a good, common sense one by the Indian government. The fact that they included imessage in the first case is baffling, though.
    thtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,279member
    MplsP said:
    crowley said:
    Hmm, there's a bit of a blurred line, when you can have 20+ people in a group chat, you're heading into social media territory.  I think there's probably a viable argument that some of the laws around responsible social media should apply to messaging apps which support larger groups.  I would be surprised if this is the last we hear of this type of thing.
    Sorry, as others have pointed out, you clearly don’t understand what constitutes social media. Communication is by definition ‘social,’ but that does not make is social media.
    I didn't say it was, and don't particularly care about the categorisation.  What is relevant is where laws and rules should apply, and it's rather short sighted to say that rules should only apply to "social media" instead of wherever is appropriate.
    edited July 17
  • Reply 12 of 14
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,279member
    I wrote my message in direct response to you crowley as you made an argument likening group chat to social media.

    While there are people on these forums who blindly support Apple, there are a far greater numbers of people in these forums who are blindly anti-apple. Your post history and the meandering repositioning of your argument here are demonstrations of this.

    The forums don't need either of these groups. That's not discourse, it's cheerleading.
    Huh?

    All I'm saying is that I'll be surprised if this is the last we hear of such laws.  I'm not even saying I'm hoping for it, so how that makes me "blindly anti-Apple" I don't know.  I haven't meandered or repositioned anything.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    danoxdanox Posts: 561member
    Someone told the Indians no more H1B’s, and no more call centers…..
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 14
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,003member
    crowley said:
    Hmm, there's a bit of a blurred line, when you can have 20+ people in a group chat, you're heading into social media territory.  I think there's probably a viable argument that some of the laws around responsible social media should apply to messaging apps which support larger groups.  I would be surprised if this is the last we hear of this type of thing.
    It’s completely different. Just look at what is done on Facebook, very little of that can be done in iMessage. I don’t have a home page, for example. Just because you can message more than 20 people doesn’t change things. You can do that with e-mail too. That doesn’t make it a social media app either.
    watto_cobra
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