HomeBusinessNew Delhi Gives Itself Power Over Social Media Content Moderation

New Delhi Gives Itself Power Over Social Media Content Moderation

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  • The new rules give the Indian government control over the content. They would moderate decisions, made by social media companies.
New Delhi Gives Itself Power Over Social Media Content Moderation
New Delhi Gives Itself Power Over Social Media Content Moderation (Image: Manish Swarup/AP Photo)

The Indian government has announced changes to its information technology rules. All rules that will apply to social media companies are a move that is likely seen as holding back big tech companies.

It would be under the amended rules. It was announced on Friday. A government panel will be formed to hear user complaints. The complaints about social media platforms: content moderation decisions. This gives the government control over the content. The moderation decisions, social media companies make.

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One of the concerns raised by the foundation is that the existence of the panel “will incentivize platforms to remove/suppress/label any speech unpleasant to the government, or those that exert political pressure.”

The foundation also expressed concern that the government will also be in a position to force social media platforms. It would be force to display content that platforms have found to violate their rules.

“Opaque and arbitrary methods of choosing appeals for review, lack of trust in an executive body, the government’s ability to influence content moderation decisions in a non-transparent manner”. Are just some of the other concerns the foundation noted about the amended rules.

Tightening Standards

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has had tense relations with many big tech companies, and New Delhi has been tightening regulation of companies like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Tensions over social media content decisions have been a particularly thorny issue in India. As companies often receive takedown requests from the government or proactively remove content.

Social media companies are already required to have an internal complaint repair officer. And appoint executives to coordinate with law enforcement officials.

Under the amended rules, companies would be required to acknowledge user complaints within 24 hours. They also will resolve them within 15 days or 72 hours in the event of a request for the deletion of information.

In June, the government published draft changes to the IT law. It would require companies to “respect the rights granted to citizens under the Constitution of India.” It has also proposed the creation of a government group.

The Indian government is concerned that users upset with decisions to remove their content do not have an adequate system to appeal against those decisions and their only legal recourse is to go to court.

“Several (tech) intermediaries have acted in violation of the constitutional rights of Indian citizens,” the government said in June, without naming any specific company or rights.

The governing panel shall consist of a chairperson and two full-time members, two of whom shall be independent.


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