Indian IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Shri Prakash Javedkhar Minister has announced the new social media regulation guidelines for all social media platforms, OTT platforms, Digital Media outlets to work in India within next three months.
New rules has been notified to make social media, OTT platforms accountable for content, They need to remove fake news, hate content within 14 days, adult content on women’s will need to remove within 24 hours.
The harmful content and against relations of India with others countries need to ban immediately and disclose the original identity of creator. These rules are essentially, focused on regulating Big Tech through the prism of tackling law and order issues that stem from user activity on these platform.
The new regulators falls under “Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code 2021) marks the Government first move to regulator social media platform.
Rules set for Social Media Companies
- Identify “first originator’ of content that authorities consider anti-national.
- Appoint grievance officers resolve complaints in 15 days.
- File monthly compliance report on complaints received action taken.
Rules set for Digital News
- Follow Press Council of India, Cable TV Networks Regulators Act norms.
- Self-regulatory bodies to oversee adherence to Code of Ethics.
- I&B, Ministry to form panel, oversignt mechanism.
Rules set for OTT Platforms
- Self-classify content into five age-based categories U (Universal) U/7 7+ ( 7 years), U/A 13+ ( 13 years ). U/A 16+ ( 16 years) and A.
- Parental locks for any content classified as U/A 13+ or above.
- Age verification mechanism for content classified as “A” (adult).
WhatsApp Messaging, Telegram , Signal are among the popular in India has need to obey the new social media rules regulation which will put pressure in India to dilute end-to-end encryption.
The messaging apps WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal may have to dilute their biggest privacy proposition for millions of users in India – end-to-end encryption. The government has mandated that they need to trace originator of flagged messages that contribute to crimes of a severe nature such as those related to the country’s security and sovereignty and rape.
The IT Minister said that they need to ask for “first originator” of the post in the social media platform and spreading messages through these platforms in India. The Big Tech companies will be required to disclose the contents of a message or information related to the originator and others users.
If the message started overseas, the first person to have shared the content in India will be considered the “the first originator”. The rules also will be passed the encryption process in most of cases under the first originator content were flagged in India.
Some experts says that “tracking the originator of content would not be possible without breaking end-to-end encryption and we believe that this mandate must be reconsidered,” he said, “Breaking end-to-end encryption might impact the privacy, safety an security of citizens and the national security of the state”.
Government can ask the, WhatsApp to identify where a message originated and how many people had read and forwarded it without reading the text in the message box. WhatsApp has 20 million users in digital payment system and it has more than 400 millions users in India.
US based social micro blogging platform Twitter refused to obey the government order to fulfill to suspended accounts of people’s over Farmer Protest in spreading the fake news and hatefully content worldwide.
Later one week, Ravi Shankar Parsad IT minister has announced the Koo- micro blogging home application ask users to follow him for more news updates on government decision. Koo gained more than 10 millions downloads in 2 days after the announcement made by government officers of India.
Today, Social networking Facebook announced that they will studying the new rules and company will comply all necessary guidelines in the country under the new (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules 2021 under the Section 79 of the information Technology Act, India has probably taken the toughest stand on regulation of social media and over the (OTT) platforms in the world.