How Centre's new rules will impact social media

Explained | How Centre's new rules will impact social media

The new rules include a strict oversight mechanism for social media and a code of ethics in line with India's laws

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The government on Thursday announced new rules to regulate digital content to create a 'level playing field' for all stakeholders, with a Code of Ethics and a three-tier grievance redressal framework for news websites and OTT platforms.

Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said these rules will empower social media users while bringing in a first-of-its-kind code, which prescribes how digital platforms will regulate themselves to fall in line with Indian laws.

Here is how social media companies will be impacted:

1. Big social media companies like Facebook and Twitter will be required to appoint compliance officers in India. Companies also have to appoint grievance officers to receive, acknowledge and resolve complaints within a month.

2. If social media platforms take down any content from their websites, they will have to provide the users with a reasonable explanation and get their feedback.

Read | OTT, social media guidelines released: Key takeaways

3. Social media sites have to remove or block offensive or illegal content within 36 hours of being flagged or if

4. Social media platforms will also have to disclose the 'first originator' of any mischievous message. This is a measure of curbing fake news on these platforms.

5. The government will also appoint an officer of the rank of a Joint Secretary or above as an 'Authorised Officer' who can direct blocking of content on digital platforms. 

6. Social media companies also have to ban content that is defamatory, obscene, libellous, racist, harmful to minors, threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India.

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