What We Know So Far – Tech News, Firstpost

February 25, 2021, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) published new guidelines for social media companies, Over the Top (OTT) actors and digital media publishers, and a three-tier grievance framework. At the time of the announcement, the ministry gave social media platforms a three-month window to comply with the new guidelines. The deadline ends on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

So far, no other platform except Koo has met the new guidelines. “Koo’s privacy policy, terms of service and community guidelines reflect the requirements of the rules applicable to major social media intermediaries. Additionally, Koo has a due diligence and grievance mechanism in place. supported by a Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Manager and Grievance Officer, ”Koo said in a statement.

If other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagaram and Twitter fail to comply with the deadline, the government could bring criminal charges against them.

“We aim to comply with the provisions of the IT rules and continue to discuss some of the issues that require greater engagement with the government. In accordance with IT rules, we are working to implement operational processes and improve efficiency. Facebook remains committed to the ability of people to express themselves freely and securely on our platform, ”a Facebook spokesperson said. tech2 in a report.

We also reached out to Instagram to find out more on the same.

Twitter declined to comment.

Representative image

With the new digital code of ethics, the government aims to establish a “progressive soft touch institutional mechanism with a level playing field”. Union IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the guidelines for intermediaries and the code of ethics for digital media are designed to combat the misuse of media platforms. social media as well as streaming services and first author disclose malicious information and delete, within 24 hours. , content depicting nudity or transformed images of women.

(Read also: India invokes IT law to regulate digital content, but new standards may fail legal scrutiny)

In accordance with the directives:

1. Social media platforms should establish a grievance mechanism and appoint a grievance officer, who should register a grievance within 24 hours and resolve it within 15 days.

2. In case of complaints against the dignity of users, especially women (exposure of their private parts, nudity or sexual act, identity theft, etc.), social media platforms will have to remove this material within 24 hours. following the filing of a complaint. .

Important guidelines for social media intermediaries

  1. Appoint a Compliance Officer (residing in India) who will be responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and rules.
  2. Appoint a nodal contact person (resident of India) to have 24/7 coordination with law enforcement.
  3. Appoint a resident grievance officer who will execute the grievance mechanism. These intermediaries are required to provide a monthly compliance report on the number of complaints filed and if / how they were remedied.

Social media platform guidelines

  1. At the request of the court or the government, social media platforms will be required to disclose the author of the mischievous tweet / post.
  2. Social media platforms should provide for voluntary verification of users.

OTT platform guidelines

  1. OTT and digital news media must disclose details of where and how they publish content
  2. Complaints handling system for digital and OTT platforms
  3. Self-regulatory body headed by a retired judge SC or HC

In addition, the Center states that it will create a “complaints portal” and anyone with a complaint about content from OTT platforms or digital media can register the complaint with the complaints portal. The complaint will first be transmitted by the Center to the entity concerned. If the complainant is not satisfied with the grievance officer’s response, he or she may appeal to the self-regulatory body formed for the entity concerned. Other appeals can be made to the central government.

What does the new digital code of ethics mean for users?

There are some changes in the Digital Ethics Guideline that may affect the end user.

  • Social media platforms that offer messaging services such as WhatsApp and Messenger, in accordance with the guidelines, should allow traceability of the sender of messages. This could compromise end-to-end encryption. Notably, the rule does not require that message content be disclosed, but even tracking information related to the first sender could affect user privacy.
  • The guidelines require social media intermediaries to activate “automated tools” to identify and remove content related to child sexual abuse or depiction of rape, among others. This has the potential for “function creep”, which occurs when information is used for a purpose that is not the original purpose specified.

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