Monday, November 28, 2022

Centre issues new IT rules for Twitter, other platforms

Centre on Friday notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2022, making it mandatory for social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. to comply by the provisions of the Constitution of India.
The amended rules effectively make it mandatory for all social media platforms to comply with India’s sovereign laws. The tweaked IT rules also pave way for setting up of grievance appellate panels, which will settle issues that users may have against the way social media platforms initially addressed their complaints regarding content and other matters.
The grievance committees will be able to review content moderation decisions by social media companies.
Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw tweeted: “Empowering users. Grievance Appellate Committee has been introduced for hearing appeals against decisions of Grievance Officer appointed by the intermediary.”
He further said that the privacy policy and user agreements of the intermediaries will be available in the Eight Schedule Indian languages.
The ‘Grievance Appellate Committees’ will be set up within three months, according to a gazette notification on Friday.
Incidentally, the move comes at a time when the CEO of electric car maker Tesla Inc, Elon Musk, has completed his USD 44-billion takeover of Twitter, placing the world’s richest man at the helm of one of most influential social media apps in the world.
Union telecom minister of state Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the new IT rules are the “next step to realising our govts duty to Digital Nagriks of Open, Safe & Trusted, Accountable Internet … It also marks a new partnership between the government and intermediaries in making and keeping our Internet safe.”
The IT rules changes have been in the works for months, though, ever since users red-flagged instances of digital platforms acting arbitrarily.
The latest move will arm the users with a grievance appeal mechanism in the form of appellate committees that will look into complaints filed by individuals against decisions of grievance officers of social media platforms.
“The central government shall, by notification, establish one or more grievance appellate committees within three months from the date of commencement of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2022,” the notification said.
Each grievance appellate committee will consist of a chairperson and two whole-time members appointed by the central government, of which one will be a member ex-officio and two shall be independent members.
“Any person aggrieved by a decision of the grievance officer may prefer an appeal to the grievance appellate committee within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt of communication from the grievance officer,” it said.
The grievance appellate panel will deal with such appeal “expeditiously” and make an endeavour to resolve the appeal finally within thirty calendar days from the date of receipt of the appeal.

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