Govt notifies new IT rules, social media appellate panels to be set up in 3 months

New Delhi: The government on Friday notified amended Information Technology rules under which appellate panels will be set up for addressing grievances of users against social media platforms.

The government has notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2022

According to the new rules, government-appointed appellate committees will be set up in three months for resolving the grievances of social media users.

The notification said each grievance appellate committee shall consist of a chairperson and two whole-time members appointed by the Centre, of which one shall be a member ex-officio and two shall be independent members.

Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw said the new rules will empower users.

“Empowering users. Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) has been introduced for hearing appeals against decisions of Grievance Officer appointed by the intermediary,” he said in a tweet.

Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said these IT rules are the next step to realizing “our goals of open, safe and trusted, accountable Internet”.

He said the decision also marks a new partnership between the government and internet Intermediaries “in making and keeping our Interest safe and trusted for all Indians”.

According to the new rules, any person aggrieved by a decision of the grievance officer may prefer an appeal to the grievance appellate committee within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt of communication from the grievance officer.
“The Committee shall deal with such appeal expeditiously and shall make an endeavour to resolve the appeal finally within 30 calendar days from the date of receipt of the appeal,” the notification said.

“The Grievance Appellate Committee shall adopt an online dispute resolution mechanism wherein the entire appeal process, from filing of appeal to the decision thereof, shall be conducted through digital mode,” it added.
The notification has come at a time when Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk has completed his takeover of the micro-blogging site Twitter.

The new rules modify Information Technology Rules 2021:

They state that the intermediary shall make reasonable efforts to cause the user of its computer resource not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share any information that 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; and is harmful to child.

They state that the intermediary will also make reasonable efforts to cause the user of its computer resource not to host or display material that 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 offence, or is insulting other nation.