Social Media Digital News Sites and OTT rules

Today the Govt made new rules for social media platforms, digital news sites and OTT platforms and I am attaching final notifications. While the rules are all good, they should not attack freedom of expression of individuals and free speech. Criticism, expression of reality in social media digital sites and OTT should not stop while anti national content rumor abuse should stop. As always implementation will be key. Below is a summary of the rules.

“There will be two categories -- intermediary which can be social media intermediary and significant social media intermediary.”

The three-level grievance redressal mechanism has been established by the Centre for self-regulation to enforce the Code of Ethics:
- Level-I: Self-regulation by publishers;- Level-II: Self-regulation by the self-regulating bodies of the publishers- Level-III: Oversight mechanism.
2. As per the new guidelines the content involving nudity, morphed pictures of women will have to be removed in 24 hours. “They will have to have a grievance redressal mechanism, a grievance officer who shall register the grievance within 24 hours and disposal in 15 days,” said Prasad.
3. Social media platforms on being asked by the court or government will now need to disclose the first originator of the mischief information. “Social media platforms upon being asked either by a court order or a govt authority will be required to disclose the first originator of mischievous tweet or message as the case may be. This should be in relation to the sovereignty of India, the security of the state, relations with foreign states, rape etc,” the minister added.
4. Prasad said that the grievance redressal official must be resident in India and social media platforms must file monthly compliance reports.
5. On urgent cases, an oversight mechanism will be set up by the government to deal with a case where immediate action is required. The committee will reportedly have representatives from the ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Home, I&B, Law, IT and Women and Child Development.
6. Publishers of news on digital media will be required to observe Norms of Journalistic Conduct of the Press Council of India and the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act.
For OTT platforms:
7. OTT platforms 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). Publishers will need to prominently display the classification rating specific to each content or programme.
8. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said such platforms would be required to implement parental locks for content classified as U/A 13+ or higher.
9. The will be a grievance redressal system in OTT platforms and digital portals. The government said that the OTT platforms will have a self-regulating body, which will be headed by retired Supreme Court or High Court judge or very eminent person in this category.
10. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that social media platforms must have a provision for the voluntary verification mechanism of the users.
The new rules laid down by the Centre have been notified under Section 87 of the Information Technology Act. more  

View all 8 comments Below 8 comments
This is useful, but where it will be exercised is not clear. Will the school children have access to these rules as part of their curriculum when ethics is not taught for so many years? Not found the definition for anti-national materials. more  
In any system Loose Strings must be curtailed. Similarly ambiguities must be avoided. more  
Yes, OTT should not stop while anti national content, rumor, abuse etc should stop. more  
Punishments must be Inevitably imposing IPC more  
govt. should control India more strictly if India want to grow to $5 trillion leave alone a developed nation, those propagating against these rules are the one who abuse India's backward economy , send their children to study and work abroad, have no hand in India's development , rather spread hatred ,riots, murder , rapes, abuse but become tame and lame when they visit developed nation and abuse India there as well more  
Government should not be the one to decide which content is to be deleted. There should be an independent body formed by selecting people from various strata of society to whom any undesirable post can be referred to for a decision. Politicians should be excluded from this body. more  
Any Member of FB etc should have Right to Report on Provocative instigating Posts/ News or Rumours more  
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