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New Social media guidelines to disclose first originator of contents: IT Minister

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Addressing the rampant misuse of Social media platform, Union Cabinet ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday announced new guidelines for social media that will now require them to disclose the first originator of the mischievous content.

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Under new guidelines, the platforms must have a chief compliance officer and nodal contact officer residing in India to perform the grievance redressal for users complaints in 24 hours. Further, social media platforms are required to file monthly.

The Electronics and Information Technology and Communications minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad said the content involving nudity, morphed pictures of women have to be removed within 24 hours of order.

“There is a rationale behind framing the new guidelines. The Supreme Court had asked us to frame guidelines to cut down hate content and there are also many orders of the high courts,” said Prasad.

“The government has done widespread consultation after drafting the rules,” he further said.

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“Social media is empowered and welcome to do business in India”, said Mr Prasad, adding that “it is also very important that social media users must be given a forum against abuse of social media”.

“We have received many complaints that some of the content on social media is impinging on the dignity of many users,” he added

With the new set of Social media rules, India joins nations across the world increasingly looking to regulate social media platforms. Recently, the micro-blogging site, Twitter, clashed with the Indian government on content takedown requests. The government had asked the messaging giant to remove some 1,100 accounts and posts for alleged spread of misinformation about the widespread protests by farmers against Centre’s new farm laws.

In its response, Twitter said it withheld some of the accounts flagged by the ruling-government for blocking “within India only”, but has not blocked handles of civil society activists, politicians and media as “it would violate their fundamental right to free expression” guaranteed under Indian constitution.

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