Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Prime Minister of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), reiterated his earlier remarks on social media platforms or intermediaries, saying on Thursday that companies ‘must’ comply with Indian laws, whether they like it or not.
On 6 June, MeitY had submitted a new draft communication, requesting comments from the intermediary (social media) companies on changes in Part-I and Part-II of the IT rules, 2021, in which they considered whether one or more Boards of Appeal should be set up. / s with the power to reverse these companies’ decisions on content moderation.
The Complaints Complaint would then oversee the Complaints Officers for the social media companies. MeitY had asked stakeholders for answers, which were open until June 22 (Wednesday). “The government has no interest in creating multiple layers of conflict resolution … in a way, this is a decent set for platforms or intermediaries who are not doing their job. You can not just appoint a complaints officer and say ‘I’m done with my responsibilities with all.
“I can assure the public that we will soon have new laws, and a lot of things today that you think are a bit vague and will need a court to interpret it will find themselves in the law. This gives you a guiding view of the way we think about where the digital citizens should be in this equation between platform or intermediaries on the one hand and citizens on the other, ”he said.
Complaints are rising
It was also revealed that the number of complaints MeitY has received over the last few months has increased. “We are not really talking about legality here, that is where we are looking for proposals from the group (stakeholders). We are finding the need for it … the number of complaints we see that we receive in the Ministry has increased and in some cases there clearly seems to be a bit of arbitrariness on the part of the platforms. The number of lawsuits in recent times has also increased for exactly the same reason, ”said Rakesh Maheshwari, Group Coordinator, Cyber Laws Division at MeitY.
Therefore, MeitY, especially for the significant social media platforms, conveys that there must be a reasonable opportunity for the user before the content / information is removed.
‘The fact is that people claim that there is no such reasonable option and people end up either in the ministry or in court. And this is where we try to find a kind of middle ground, ”Maheshwari added.
No active answers
Some stakeholders also pointed out that complaints managers or compliance managers on the social media platforms have not yet provided active responses. They are just automatically responding to complaints from users right now, they noted.
On the issue of the Appeals Committee, Chandrasekhar reiterated that “the government has no interest in doing this but it was something that was forced on the government due to lack of response or consistent response from the intermediaries.
Participants included officials from Meta (Facebook), industry bodies such as Nasscom, Assocham and the Broadband India Forum and cyber law experts such as Pavan Duggal and Anuj Agarwal.
June 23, 2022