No proposal to appoint regulator for social media, says Union minister Prasad. On Wednesday the government informed had informed that the Parliament that there was no proposal with the IT department to establish a regulator for social media. Minister for Communications and Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad, however, said the government had issued the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, 2021, under the IT Act which stipulates the diligence to be followed by all mediators, including communications mediators.
Prasad told Lok Sabha that the forums have been instructed to establish a strong grievance redressal system. At present, there is no proposal with the Department of Technology and Information for the appointment of a communications regulator.
The government in the month of February had also announced for changing rules for social media firms such as Facebook and Twitter and OTT players such as Netflix, requiring them to remove any content flagged by the authorities within the 36 hours and has also establish a grievance redressal mechanism.
The guidelines also make it necessary for forums such as Twitter and WhatsApp to identify the originator of the message that the authorities consider to be anti-national and anti-security and sovereignty. The new rules regarding social media should be administered by the IT department while the information and broadcasting department will look at content-related issues on entertainment apps and online news sites.
Prasad said in terms of section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, the government is blocking illegal and harmful online content including a social media account, for the purpose of Indian sovereignty and integrity, India’s defense, State security, good relations with foreign provinces or public order or to prevent the commissioning of any apparent litigation related to the above.
Prasad said that Under this system, 9 849 URLs / accounts / web pages, mainly on social media, will be banned by the year 2020. To answer the question of whether the government has conducted any research on the impact of government control on social media and the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the constitution, Prasad has denied any such research conducted by the government.
He said the government welcomes criticism, dissent and human rights to ask questions on social media. “However, this needs to be acknowledged that the fundamental right to freedom of expression and expression under section 19 (1) is also subject to the applicable restrictions under section 19 (2) of the Constitution which may be enacted for the purpose of security, security and sovereignty of India, civil order, relations and friendship with foreign countries. “Prasad said.
The minister said it was also important that social media could not be misused or misused to insult, promote terrorism, escalate violence and degrade women.