Tech

New IT rules: Government council hears users’ call against Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies


The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued an amendment notice It rules. In the announcement, the ministry said the Center would establish three-member Complaints Appeals Committees (GACs). These appellate panels seek to address grievances users may have over decisions by social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook about hosting controversial content. Incidentally, this move happened on the day Tesla CEO and richest man in the world Elon Musk completed its $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.
The revised rules will provide social media users with a grievance mechanism in the form of an appeals committee that will review complaints by individuals against the decisions of the complaint officers. social media platforms. As soon as the amendments are announced, the IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw tweeted: “Empowering users. The Grievance Appeals Committee (GAC) has been introduced to hear appeals against the decisions of Grievance Officers appointed by the intermediary.” In another tweet, the minister said, “Privacy policy and user agreements with intermediaries will be made available in 8 Indian languages ​​on Schedule”.
Progress for GAC
The three-member Appeals Committee(s) will be established in three months, as announced by MeitY. Appellate committees will be able to review content moderation and other decisions by social media companies.
What the new social media rules say
In the new regulations, the government has added objectionable religious content (with the intent to incite violence) along with pornography, trademark infringement, fake information and something that could be a threat. threaten the sovereignty of the country that users can flag for social media platforms. Their decisions about flying such flags can be challenged in appeals committees. “The Central Government, by notification, establishes one or more appellate committees within three months of the commencement of Information Technology (Intermediate Principle and Code of Ethics for Digital Media) Revised Rules, 2022,” the announcement said.
Why are new rules needed?
While major tech companies advocate self-regulation, the government seems to have taken the view that user concerns about content on social media platforms need to be addressed by an agency. Appeal. The revised rules aim to strengthen the grievance redress mechanism. The amendments provide social media platforms to acknowledge user complaints within 24 hours and resolve them within 15 days thereafter. Regulatory rules for social media platforms to take down certain controversial content within 72 hours of reporting.
Complaints can range from child sexual abuse material to nudity to trademark and patent infringement, misinformation, impersonation of others, content that threatens integrity and integrity. country as well as “offensive” content that incites “hostility between different groups on the basis of religion or class with the aim of inciting violence”.
In February 2021, the government announced IT rules that provide social media platforms with the appointment of a grievance officer. Users at the first stage flag complaints against other users or content, to staff to deal with the complaint. In February 2021, the government announced the IT Code (Intermediary Principle and Digital Media Code of Ethics), 2021 for social media applications, online news portals, general submissions, etc. news fusion and OTT platform. However, even after providing a remediation mechanism through the IT Code, in 2021 many user complaints remained unresolved, prompting the government to step in and propose an appellate jurisdiction framework.
How will the GAC be structured?
Each appeals committee shall be composed of a chairperson and two full-time members appointed by the central government, of which one will be a full member and two will be independent members. “Any person affected by the complaint officer’s decision may wish to appeal to the appeals committee within thirty days of receiving notice from the complaints officer,” it said.
The appeals board will resolve the appeal “expeditiously” and attempt to resolve the final appeal within thirty calendar days of receipt of the appeal.

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