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Intermediary Guidelines: Government to bring social media appellate committees in 3 months

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Our Bureau

New Delhi, October 28

The government on Friday has notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2022 wherein it said government-appointed appellate committees will be set up in three months for resolving social media users’ grievances.

These committees will be able to review content moderation decisions by social media companies like Meta and Twitter, adding that while dealing with the appeal if the Committee feels necessary, it may seek assistance from any person having requisite qualification, experience and expertise in the subject matter.

“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.

Each Grievance Appellate Committee will consist of a chairperson and two whole time members appointed by the Centre, of which one will be a member ex-officio and two will be independent members, it said.

“Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Grievance Officer may prefer an appeal to the Grievance Appellate Committee within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of communication from the Grievance Officer,” the Ministry of Electronics and IT said in a gazette notification.

Incidentally, the move comes at a time when Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has completed his $44-billion takeover of Twitter, placing the world’s richest man at the helm of one of most influential social media apps in the world.

The IT rules changes have been in the works for months, though, ever since users red-flagged instances of digital platforms acting arbitrarily. The latest move will arm the users with a grievance appeal mechanism in the form of appellate committees that will look into complaints filed by individuals against decisions of grievance officers of social media platforms.

“The Grievance Appellate Committee will adopt an online dispute resolution mechanism wherein the entire appeal process, from filing of appeal to the decision thereof, will be conducted through digital mode,” the notification added.





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