Union Ministers Prakash Javdekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday laid out the rules to regulate social media intermediaries, OTT platforms and digital/online news media. The rules, which has been laid out to curb misuse of social media platforms, will be implemented in three months.
"I want to make it very clear that we have not framed any new law or any additional law. Under the existing IT act mechanism itself in excise of Section 87 rule making power we have framed these rules & code of ethics," RP Shankar clarified.
The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 mandate that the intermediaries, including social media intermediaries must establish a grievance redressal mechanism for receiving resolving complaints from the users or victims.
Further, significant social media intermediaries providing services primarily in the nature of messaging shall enable identification of the originator of the information that is required only offences related to sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, or public order or of incitement to an offence relating to rape, sexually explicit material or child sexual abuse.
Seeking to establish a soft touch regulatory framework for news publishers, over-the-top (OTT) platforms and digital media, the government said OTT platforms (like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video) would have to self-classify the content into five age-based categories - U (Universal), U/A 7+ (years), U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult).
The publishers of online curated content will also have to prominently display the classification rating specific to each content or programme together with a content descriptor informing the user about the nature of the content.
After the guidelines were laid out by the Union Ministers, a section of Twitter reacted to the same. While some welcomed the move and called it 'need of the hour', others were rather disappointed.
Check out the Twitter reactions here:
(Inputs from agencies).