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Amendment of intermediary guidelines aimed at protection of online users

IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said the latest amendment of intermediary guidelines is focused on protection of online users. The comment came as the government on Friday notified new rules under which it will set up appellate panels to settle grievances that users may have against decisions of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook on hosting contentious content.

The three-member Grievance Appellate Committee(s) will be set in three months, according to the gazette notification.

Soon after the tweaks in IT rules were notified on Friday, Vaishnaw said, “The focus of the amendment of intermediary guidelines is on the protection of online users.“The law of the land is supreme. Intermediary to ensure accessibility of its services to all users and respect their rights under the Constitution of India,” he noted.

According to the latest amendments, the appellate committees will be able to review content moderation and other decisions of social media companies such as Meta and Twitter.”The central government shall, by notification, establish one or more grievance appellate committees within three months from the date of commencement of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2022,” the notification said.

Each grievance appellate committee will consist of a chairperson and two whole-time members appointed by the central government, of which one will be a member ex-officio and two shall be independent members. PTI

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