Centre Rolls Back Plan For Panel To Decide Social Media Content

Story Highlights
  • Government will step up to make a committee to decide what content goes up.
  • The central government shall constitute one or more Grievance Appellate Committees.
  • It has also extended time for public comments on the draft notification.

New Delhi: The Centre on Monday brought back a proposal to amend the rules that govern social media companies, including a plan to set up a new government-appointed committee that experts have said will effectively take the final call on what content stays up or is taken down from websites like Twitter and Facebook.

The release on Monday reinstates the proposal in the same form, with additional explanations for the changes the government plans to make to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The guidelines, known as the IT Rules, 2021, has already been suspended by several high courts after being challenged as unconstitutional.

“The goals of these rules (the new intermediary guidelines) are to ensure an Open, Safe & Trusted and Accountable Internet for all Indian Internet Users and Digital Nagriks. These rules have succeeded in creating a new sense of accountability amongst Intermediaries to their users especially within Big Tech platforms,” the government statement said.

“Every order passed by the grievance appellate committee shall be complied by the concerned intermediary. It also laid down a 30-day window for the committee to make a decision on appeal.“This is made necessary because currently there is no appellate mechanism provided by intermediaries nor is there any credible self-regulatory mechanism in place,” the government statement said.

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