IT industry association Nasscom said Friday that the new rules for social media, OTT and digital media players are intended to address issues such as complaint handling, fake news and online safety, but that they must be implemented appropriately to ensure they do not become too burdensome for platforms.
The industry association noted that technology is becoming ubiquitous and it is important that all stakeholders – government, business, startups and citizens – use and build on technology responsibly.
It also stressed that it is imperative that there is a balance between regulation and innovation, as the world is in a phase of accelerated technological shifts.
“…The Code is designed to address many of the concerns, such as complaint handling, fake news, online safety and equality with existing laws. From the user’s perspective … the possibility of voluntary self-monitoring of user accounts and the right to receive an explanatory notice of removal or disabling of access and to pursue legal remedies against action taken by intermediaries should be helpful,” Nasscom said.
It went on to say, “This requires proper implementation and should not become burdensome for social media platforms.”
The government on Thursday announced new rules to curb abuse of social media platforms, requiring companies to appoint a complaints officer, disclose the first author of the unwelcome information and remove content depicting nudity or morphed photos of women within 24 hours.
Any content flagged by the government or by court order must be removed within 36 hours.
The government had said the code was needed to make social media and OTT companies accountable for “abuse and improper use.”
Nasscom pointed out that it has worked with its members to share feedback on the intermediary guidelines with the government and that some of these recommendations have been incorporated into the new rules announced by the government.
The government has stressed that the new rules will not curtail the creativity and freedom of expression of citizens and Nasscom urges the government to ensure that this is the starting point in the implementation of these guidelines, it added.
“The call for responsible freedom and ensuring that no information or data is misleading is key for a diverse democracy like India to curb the widespread issue of fake news,” it further stated.
Nasscom said it has always advocated for responsible use of technology to ensure conscious building of trust and transparency within the ecosystem.
“We will work with our members to examine the implications of these guidelines in detail and request consultation on implementation and clarifications,” it added.
New rules for social media, OTT require proper implementation