India to bring law to regulate social media

New Delhi: The Indian government is set to enact legislation to regulate social media and OTT platforms. India’s  Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Communications Minister Prakash Javedkar gave this information at a press conference held in Delhi.

Prasad said that social media is doing good business in India. However, in recent times, the government has been receiving many complaints about the irresponsibility of social media.

According to the  Indian government, there have been recent complaints of inciting violence on social media, sharing pornographic material and using posts from other countries. To meet these challenges, the Government of India will implement guidelines within three months.

To set guidelines, the government has divided social media into two categories. One is Intermediate and the other is Significant Social Media Intermediate. The government is also going to issue a notification regarding the number of users.

There will be strict guidelines to prohibit user character assassination. In particular, social media will have to remove the post within 24 hours after receiving a complaint about a post in which a woman’s character has been assassinated. Law Minister Prasad said that the law will be implemented within three months.

Social media will have to make arrangements for hearing complaints and the name of the officer hearing the complaints will also be made public. These officers must register a complaint within 24 hours and address it within 15 days.

In addition, in order for the government to discourage fake accounts, technology companies will have to make the verification process mandatory. There is also a demand that the tech-company should provide information of the users who post on social media under the direction of the government.

Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the company should give information about the post after court or the government asks for it. The questions like “If someone posted from outside India, then who started it in India? would be addressed. It has to do with India’s sovereignty, national security, relations with foreign states, rape and so on. “

The Indian government is also planning to bring a law to regulate the OTT platform. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javedkar said that there would be a three-tier law to regulate the OTT platform.

Accordingly, OTT platforms and digital media have to inform the government about themselves. Complaints of these platforms should also be heard.

On Thursday, the Australian government passed a law requiring large technology companies to pay a fee to large media houses for using news on their platforms.

In Nepal too, a directive on social media regulation was proposed during the tenure of the then Communications Minister Gokul Banskota. The directive was stopped after reaching the parliament. The government’s proposal to bring the directive is also in dispute.

After the Australian government passed the law, former Communications Minister Banskota mocked those who opposed the directive. He writes: Australia has passed a law on social media like Nepal tried to bring last year. Now, who will protest in Sydney to stop the civil and economic freedom and regression?


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