The Government of India has announced a new guideline for social media and OTT platforms that insist on removing content flagged by authorities within 36 hours of raising concern. In addition, the new decision asks them to set up a complaint redressal mechanism within the country.
These are aimed at social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter etc and OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. The guideline asks these companies to identify the source of the messages in social media which the authorities consider to be anti-national and against the security and sovereignty of the country.
“Social media companies are welcome to do business in India and empower Indians…We welcome criticism and dissent… but it is important that users of social media are given a proper forum for the resolution of their grievances in a time-bound manner,” says IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. He says that intermediaries are categories into social media intermediary and significant social media intermediary.
Other instructions include providing an opportunity to users to verify their account using appropriate means afterwards the platform should show an authentication mark based on the verification data. The new rule also suggests that content across the online media be tagged with an age-based guideline. These will include five age-based categories – U (Universal), U/A 7+ (years), U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult). In addition, the viewer would be asked to prove his age to watch contents accordingly.
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