New IT Rules | Govt to set up panels to hear appeals against social media platforms

Representational picture
Representational pictureMaxpixle [Creative Commons]

New Delhi, Oct 28: Grievance redressal panels would soon be set up by the government to hear users’ appeals against content moderation decisions taken by social media entities like Meta and Twitter.

In a gazette notification issued on Friday, the government has amended the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, to facilitate the setting up of such grievance committees.

Under the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2022: “The Central Government shall, by notification, establish one or more Grievance Appellate Committees within three months from the date of commencement of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2022.”

According to the Gazette notification: “Each Grievance Appellate Committee shall consist of a chairperson and two whole time members appointed by the Central Government, of which one shall be a member ex-officio and two shall be independent members”.

As per the new rules, any user aggrieved by a decision of an intermediary’s own grievance officer can appeal to the government-appointed Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) within a period of 30 days.

The GACs will have to resolve the issue within 30 days.

The committees will adopt an online dispute resolution mechanism to ensure that the entire process can be completed digitally.

The amended law makes it mandatory for intermediaries to upload a report after complying with each GAC order.

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