New Delhi: Amid row with Twitter, the Central government on Thursday announced the tightening of rules and regulations governing social media and streaming companies, requiring them to take down contentious content quicker, appoint grievance redressal officers and assist investigations. Also Read - ZEE Rajasthan, The No.1 Choice Of Rajasthan, Relaunches In A New And Fresh Look
Speaking in details about the new guidelines, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad spoke exclusively to Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary and said these rules have been issued to curb misuse of social media platforms. Also Read - Nude or Morphed Photos of Women on Social Media Must be Removed in 24 Hours, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad
According to Ravi Shankar Prasad, the ‘Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code’ requires WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and other social media firms as well as streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video to appoint executives to coordinate with law enforcement, disclose the first originator of the mischievous information and remove, within 24 hours, content depicting nudity or morphed pictures of women. Also Read - West Bengal Election Special: Zee News is Geared up With a Special Line up of Shows
However, the Union Minister said that any contentious content flagged by the government or legal order has to be taken down quickly. The guidelines require social media intermediaries to appoint a resident grievance officer, who shall register complaints in 24 hours, and file monthly compliance reports. User grievances have to be resolved within 15 days.
He said that the social media platforms on being asked by court or government will be required to disclose the first originator of the mischievous information that undermines the sovereignty of India, security of the state, or public order.
Releasing the guidelines, Prasad said the code was needed to make social media and OTT companies accountable for “misuse and abuse”. Social media firms should be “more responsible and accountable,” he said.
The new guidelines come amid the government’s spat with Twitter over allegedly inflammatory tweets and hashtags supporting farmer protests, with the microblogging service initially refusing to comply with orders to take down about 1,500 such posts and accounts. However, Twitter complied after it was threatened with penal action.
Prasad further added that the new rules require the ‘significant’ social media intermediaries to follow additional due diligence including the appointment of a chief compliance officer, a nodal contact person and a resident grievance officer. All three officials will have to reside in India. They will have to publish monthly compliance report and detail contents removed proactively.