IT industry association Nasscom said Friday that the new rules for social media, OTT and digital media players are intended to address issues such as complaint handling, fake news and online security, but they need to be properly implemented to ensure that they don’t become too burdensome for platforms.
The industry association noted that technology is becoming ubiquitous and it is important that all stakeholders – government, businesses, startups and citizens – use technology responsibly and build on it.
It was also stressed that a balance between regulation and innovation is imperative as the world is in a phase of accelerated technological change.
“… The Code was designed to solve many of the problems such as: Such as complaint handling, fake news, online safety and equality with existing laws. From the user’s point of view … the ability to voluntarily self-monitor user accounts and the right to justify removal or blocking of access and to seek legal redress against action by intermediaries should help, “said Nasscom.
It continued, “This requires proper implementation and shouldn’t be burdensome for social media platforms.”
The government announced new rules on Thursday to curb abuse of social media platforms. Businesses must appoint a complaints officer, disclose the first author of the unsolicited information, and remove content depicting nudity or transformed photos of women within 24 hours.
Government or court order flagged content must be removed within 36 hours.
The government said the code was needed to hold social media and OTT companies accountable for “abuse and misuse”.
Nasscom noted that it worked with its members to provide feedback to the government on the guidelines for intermediaries and that some of those recommendations were incorporated into the new rules announced by the government.
The government has stressed that the new rules will not restrict citizens’ creativity and freedom of expression, and Nasscom urges the government to ensure that this is the starting point for implementing these guidelines, she added.
“Demanding responsible freedom and ensuring that no information or data is misleading is key to a diverse democracy like India to curb the widespread problem of fake news,” it said.
Nasscom has always advocated the responsible use of technology in order to ensure a conscious building of trust and transparency within the ecosystem.
“We will work with our members to study the implications of these guidelines in detail and to seek consultation on implementation and clarification,” he added.