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OTT Platforms India: Government Guidelines On Social Media Regulation

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The Center on Thursday issued guidelines for the regulation of social media and to curb the misuse of OTT platform content.

Informing the media, Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar welcomed social media platforms for doing business in India and praised their popularity and a good number of users. He also welcomed platforms for the empowerment of common Indians.

However, ministers said that it is very important to regulate the functions of social media agencies in India. For this purpose, the government has called for the establishment of an urgent grievance redressal mechanism.

Here are the highlights of the briefing:

  • A three-tier grievance redressal mechanism has been established under the rules with two levels of self-regulation.
  • Level I includes the publisher and Level II includes the self-regulatory body, while the third level is an oversight mechanism under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • OTT platforms will be required to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person, and a Resident Grievance Officer under the new social security regulatory mechanism.
  • The self-regulatory body shall be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court or High Court or an eminent person of the concerned field and may issue advice to the publisher.

Reveal the first promoter of naughty tweet or message:

  • The social media platform will be required to appear as the first promoter of a naughty tweet or message when asked by either a court order or a government authority as the case may be.
  • It should only be in relation to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, public order, relations with foreign states, or rape, sexually explicit material, and choice.
    Social Media Mediator:
  • All social media platforms will have two categories of middlemen.
  • The center will notify users of an important social media intermediary very soon.
  • Middlemen will have a grievance redressal mechanism.
  • They will also have to mention the name of a grievance officer who will lodge a complaint within 24 hours and ensure settlement in 15 days.
  •  The arbitrator will publish a monthly compliance report detailing the complaints received and the action taken on the complaints as well as details of the materials removed.
    Cause by middlemen
  • The person appointed as the Chief Compliance Officer will be a resident of India. He will be responsible for ensuring compliance with rules and regulations.
  • The nodal contact person will be responsible for coordinating 24 × 7 with law enforcement agencies.
  • The Resident Grievance Officer will do all the work under the Grievance Redressal Mechanism.
  • All intermediaries will have a physical contact address published in India on their website or mobile app or both.
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