The Central government notified amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules of 2021 which brought in significant changes to the grievance redressal mechanism under the Rules.
The following changes have been done in the Compliances and Due Diligence required by the social media intermediaries:
- The Intermediary shall cause the user of their resource not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share any information which:
- belongs to another person and to which the user does not have any right
- is obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, invasive of another’s privacy including bodily privacy, insulting or harassing on the basis of gender, racially or ethnically objectionable, relating or encouraging money laundering or gambling, or promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion or caste with the intent to incite violence
- is harmful to the child
- infringes any patent, trademark, copyright, or other proprietary rights
- deceives or misleads the addressee about the origin of the message or knowingly and intentionally communicates any misinformation or information which is patently false and untrue or misleading in nature
- impersonates another person
- threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign States, or public order, or causes incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence, or prevents investigation of any offense, or is insulting other nation
- contains a software virus or any other computer code, file, or program designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer resource
- violates any law for the time being in force
- The intermediary shall respect all the rights as granted to citizens under Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution.
- The complaint by the user of the intermediary shall be acknowledged within 24 hours and shall be resolved within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt.
Wherein the nature of the complaint is in the form of a request for removal or takedown of information or communication link shall be resolved within 72 hours of the reporting.
- The order passed by the GAC (Grievance Appellate Committee) shall have complied and the report to be uploaded on the website addressing the effect.
Establishment of Grievance Appellate Committee (GACs) and functions of GAC:
The GACs will be established by the Central Government within 3 months. Persons aggrieved by the decision of the Grievance officer may prefer an appeal to the GAC within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt of communication from the Grievance Officer. GAC will resolve the appeal within 30 calendar days from the date of appeal. GAC will consist of the chairperson and two whole-time members appointed by the Central Government.