The government has issues fresh guidelines for regulating the content on social media and OTT platforms and to establish a “soft touch progressive institutional mechanism with level-playing field” with providing a set of ethics and a three tier grievances redressal mechanism for all news sites and OTTs.
The new rules will empower the social media users, said the Union Minister for Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad. The rules will empower users of social media, said Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The platforms will now be under government surveillance and the new rules and code of ethics bans any content that affects “the sovereignty and integrity of India” and which threatens the National Security of the nation.
Under the rules the social media giants will be asked to hire compliance officers who will provide information to users for why their post or content is deleted from the platform.
The social media will now disclose the creator of any malicious content and those who are spreading it, said the IT minister. There will also be a punishment in this regard, he added.
The surveillance team will include members from Home ministry, External affairs, Defence, Law, IT, Women and Child Development and I&B, who will have “suo moto” powers to call upon hearing on any violation of the set guidelines and code of ethics.
There will be a classification of content on the basis of age groups and a strict mechanism will be followed so that nobody access any content if that is not approved for that them.
All news sites will have get themselves registered on Information and Broadcasting Ministry site and they will have to adhere to the rules set by the Press Council of India.
As per the legislative framework any content that is defamatory, obscene, libelous, racist, harmful to minors, threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India and its ties with other countries will have to be deleted within the 36 hours of the court order.
For the grievance mechanism the social media giants will have to designate a grievance officer for solving the user grievances within the timeline.
The three tier mechanism will include three body responsible for regulating the content that are self-regulation, self-regulation by self-regulating bodies and the government.