Some members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology on Monday questioned the legality of new guidelines framed by the federal government to control OTT and social media platforms. Tightening the foundations governing social media and streaming firms, the Centre had introduced final month the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code relevant on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video amongst others.
Top officers of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Monday deposed earlier than the parliamentary panel on “middleman tips within the context of examination of the topic assessment of functioning of Central Board of Film Certification.” The panel is chaired by senior Congress chief Shashi Tharoor. Some members and the chairman requested a quantity of inquiries to the officers like whether or not these guidelines are in conformity with the authorized framework, sources within the panel mentioned.
MPs from totally different events within the panel additionally grilled the officers as to why the regulatory mechanism consists of solely bureaucrats and never representatives of civil society, judiciary and professionals, they mentioned. According to sources, members additionally requested the officers whether or not they had consulted stakeholders earlier than bringing these guidelines.
Briefing the members of the panel, authorities officers justified the necessity for such guidelines in altering instances and in addition defined the rationale behind them. The new guidelines or tips require social media and streaming platforms to take down contentious content material rapidly, appoint grievance redressal officers and help investigations.
Beyond streaming and messaging platforms, the brand new guidelines additionally set code for digital publishers of information and present affairs content material, requiring them to reveal their possession and different data. Union IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had mentioned that the rules for intermediaries and ethics code for digital media are designed to curb misuse of social media platforms in addition to streaming companies and disclose the primary originator of the mischievous data and take away, inside 24 hours, content material depicting nudity or morphed photos of girls.