Categories: Tech News

India’s internet rules were adjusted to allow social media appeals

India is revamping its internet rules to include an appeals panel for social media complaints.

India is revamping its internet rules to include an appeals panel for social media complaints.

The federal Technology Ministry announced mediation guidelines last year to push social media companies to remove controversial content and help with legal investigations. New Delhi’s move aligned with that of other countries seeking to exert greater control over large US Internet companies. It also increased compliance headaches for companies like Meta Platforms Inc. and Twitter Inc., which count India among their key growth markets.

The 2021 rules, which are legally enforceable, ordered tech companies to appoint grievance officers to resolve user complaints. Penalty for non-compliance included the expiry of protections given to intermediaries or content hosts and prison terms.

Under the amended rules, released on Friday, the federal government will create one or more grievance appeal committees consisting of a chairman and two full-time members. The commission will aim to resolve an appeal within 30 calendar days, and an intermediary must comply with its order, in accordance with the rules.

The new rules were introduced because intermediaries or content hosts such as social media companies did not do enough to address user complaints, junior technology minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar told a press conference . “The reparation officer is supposed to address the complaints and not have any witnesses.”

The changes come as billionaire Elon Musk takes control of Twitter, appointing himself head of the company and pledging to ensure freedom of expression on the platform.

India has had a particularly contentious relationship with Twitter in recent years as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has sought to exert greater control over online dialogue.

The prospect of less restrictive content moderation under Musk’s leadership has raised concerns that dialogue on the social network will deteriorate, eroding years of efforts by the company and its trust and security team to limit posts offensive or dangerous.


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