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New IT rules make it very difficult to suspend social media accounts: Ministry of Agriculture

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Minister of State for Electronics and Information of the Union technology Federal Minister of State for Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, Rajiv Chandrasekhar, said the new amendments to the information technology The (IT) rules ensure that these platforms cannot suspend a citizen’s account without following a systematic process.

During a discussion about the rules in the Twitter Space on October 29, the minister stated that moderators cannot suspend or ban anyone without giving notice and giving the account holder a chance to explain their position. “Every platform should follow the process of natural justice, which is the core of the system in India,” Chandrasekhar said.

However, he made it clear that this does not mean that social media companies cannot overturn the platform for any individual. “The future process will be far from arbitrary today and far from opaque. So, at the end of the procedure, if you don’t like it, you can go and appeal it to the grievance committee (GAC) and if you don’t like what the GAC is doing, you can also appeal it at Courts, the minister said.

The government said on Saturday that new IT rules impose a legal obligation on social media companies to make every effort to block prohibited content and disinformation, explaining that platforms operating in India You will have to comply with local laws and constitutional rights of Indian users. The Rules are in response to complaints about the actions of moderators or the inaction in response to users’ complaints about objectionable content or the suspension of their accounts.

No random cancellation

Ministry of Social Affairs Chandrasekhar said account cancellations will not happen randomly as Article 14, Article 19 and Article 21 are now part of the IT rules.

Article 14 states: “Equality before the law The State shall not deny any person the equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. Prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.”

Article 19 deals with the protection of certain rights of Indian citizens with respect to freedom of expression and others such as the right to practice any profession or exercise any profession, trade or business.

In addition, Article 21 states: “Protection of life and personal liberty No one shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except in accordance with the procedures established by law.”

According to the Union Minister: “In the new rules, we have set that no rights of citizens – Articles 14, 19 and 21 – can be tampered with through any platform.”

He said the platform must ensure that if the consumer statute is rescinded, there are sufficient reasons behind such a move, which provides evidence that it does not discriminate or suppress someone’s right to freedom of expression and does not violate Articles 14, 19 and 21. Now, it would be very difficult for platforms to arbitrarily cancel anyone’s program.”

grievances

Explaining the need for the GAC, he said, “One of the frequent concerns and complaints from those using these platforms was that they had a problem, but they didn’t know who they could reach.” He said it was “strange” that platforms that deal with millions of people make no effort to be accountable to consumers.

Chandrasekhar said the government has asked these companies to appoint ombudsmen as part of the framework so that users can send their concerns to the concerned person. “Over the past 14 months, a lot of these platforms have just been set up nam ke fasti someone to hold the position of ombudsman,” adding that either the person became just a “mailbox” or they appointed a person who was “uninterested” to address the grievances or in the third case the issue was settled in an “unsatisfactory way.”

“So the GAC came up as a concept, as an appellate judiciary. If you are a user and you are not satisfied with the response you are getting from the platform, you have a way of appealing to the GAC,” the minister added.

The GAC has also been called a “digital board” on the Internet. Regarding how this committee should operate, Chandrasekhar stated that if the incoming appeals are related to the IT sector and MeitY, the GAC will deal with them and if the appeals are related to intellectual property, patients or e-commerce, it will forward them to the respective region. Ministry of Agriculture Chandrasekhar noted: “I have promised that within the next 15 days we will establish the structure, design and core terms of reference for the GAC and we will discuss it with the industry, share the work and then communicate it.”

New legislation

During the discussion, the Minister answered a query regarding the possibility of issuing a new IT law. “The current rules are a starting point for two new legislation that will be part of the overall framework. One is the Digital Data Protection Bill, which will be coming up for consultation very soon. The other is the Digital India Act, which will replace the Information Technology Act 2000 – a law that is 22 years old and in terms of The internet, it’s a 2000 year old law – so we need a modern law for India Techade and we Chandrasekhar said.

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