India to introduce tighter laws to make social media more accountable

India to introduce tighter laws to make social media more accountable

India’s IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw stressed the importance of making social media more accountable and said the government would bring in new laws to make it happen. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp have been under the scanner for their inability to take action on issues such as hate speech, fake news, and disinformation.

“Whatever legal changes are required, we will do. Within media groups, self-regulation is needed… self-regulation will be done. But wherever needed, we will take all steps to make social media more accountable,” Vaishnav said during a TV9 event, What India Thinks Today Global Summit.

According to Indian Information Technology Rules, digital media platforms with over 5 million users must publish monthly compliance reports, with details of complaints received and action taken.

However, the IT ministry circulated the new draft rules earlier this month that proposes a government panel to hear user appeals against content-related decisions by social media grievance officers.

NEW LAWS BY JULY END?

The government is expected to introduce new social media rules by the end of July this year.

Vaishnav said making social accountability is necessary, not just in India but worldwide. Recently, Meta, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft signed the EU’s New Code of Conduct to take a firmer stance on disinformation.

“If you see globally too, there is a clear trend that social media needs to be made accountable. It is the same in India. As I have said, legal steps will also be taken,” the minister said.

“Bringing regulation where needed, and to the extent needed, is government’s responsibility, and we will bring (it),” Vaishnav added.

During the event, Vaishnav also discussed the need for robust cybersecurity measures in the country.

“India ranks among the top 10 globally in cyber security preparedness. We will consolidate on this further,” he said.

Read – Tim Cook says Apple “strongly supports” American Data Privacy and Protection Act

Read – Google, Facebook, other top tech firms say Indian cybersecurity rules may create environment of fear

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