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Social Media, OTT platform likely to request more time for IT rules compliances


Social media and OTT (over-the-top) broadcasting platforms may ask government to extend the deadline to comply with new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code), 2021, which comes with 25 May as a deadline, say legal and policy experts.

Among the major social media platforms, only local Koo fully complied with new rules, while Facebook said it took time to discuss issues that needed to work with government.


"We aim to comply with the requirements of IT regulations and continue to discuss a few issues that require more consultation with government. In line with IT Rules, we are working to streamline operations and improve efficiency. Facebook remains committed to people's ability to express themselves freely and safely on our platform," -Facebook.

Microblogging site Twitter declined to comment similarly while a question submitted to Google remains unanswered. Sajai Singh, a colleague at law firm J Sagar Associates, said the situation in country, which has been plaguing the epidemic, has changed since guidelines were released in February.

"I feel that platforms will ask the government to extend deadline for compliance. In addition, I look forward too much discussion and consultation between two parties regarding specific clauses in these guidelines that will not work (violating end-encryption for tracking), "Singh said. but also protects the millions of users who use these services. "


Under the rules, key communications mediators (with more than 50 lakh users), are required to appoint a senior compliance officer, a donor liaison officer who will liaise with legal entities and a resident complaints officer. All three must be Indian citizens, Apart from this, social media should track message's originator if  government or court asks for it. They will have to remove nude posting or morphed images within 24 hours of receiving complaint.


Gurshabad Grover, chief policy officer at Center for Internet and Society (CIS) said non-compliance with these guidelines would result in platforms losing out on conditional protection provided by mediators under Section 79 of IT Act. This will make media responsible for third-party content and data sent to their platforms by users. "Speaking of which, it is not possible to hold forums accountable for user-posted content. I expect postponement of the compliance date and certain negotiations between department and forums to reach an agreement," Grover said.


Compliance with requirements for follow-up where platforms will be asked for details of original author of a particular message shared in a private conversation is challenging. "It will be a challenge for companies like Facebook that use private channels like WhatsApp and Messenger," he added.


Meanwhile, even video streaming platforms do not include appeals and other requirements. Although service websites such as Disney + Hotstar, ZEE5, VOOT and MX Player list email IDs to potential customer complaints can be sent to them, the services did not respond to Mint's queries as to whether they had appointed a grievance redressal officer, Netflix declined to comment further.


"Over the past three months, the Prime Video team has worked tirelessly to prepare the service to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021 (New Rules). Intending to prioritize the empowerment of our diverse and discerning viewers to make informed viewing decisions, we have been able to transform our processes to bring Prime Video Video Broadcast Service to the New Legislation, " said an Amazon Prime Video spokesman.


State law also states that no news or content company shall transmit or publish anything prohibited under any law for time being in force or prohibited by any court of competent jurisdiction. A viable business will consider such things as "Indian sovereignty and integrity state security. India's good relations with foreign countries, India's multi-racial and religious contexts, and appropriate awareness understanding of any racial or religious group's activities, beliefs, practices, or ideologies. "All of this, as long as it specifies the content of the sexually explicit content, will only be available to an adult audience.

Facebook today said it is working to implement operational procedures and aims to comply with provisions of IT regulations. In a statement on Tuesday, a Facebook spokesman said: "We aim to comply with  requirements of IT regulations and continue to discuss a few issues that need to work with government. Following IT rules, we work to implement procedures and improve efficiency."


Last week, Koo announced that it had met the requirements of compliance with Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code), 2021 (Regulations), before deadline of May 25, 2021. Koo is now close to six million downloads and makes it a significant communications coordinator.


Koo's Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Community Guidelines reflect requirements of the Code as it applies to critical social media mediators. In addition, Koo used due diligence and grievance redress with support of  Indian Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Officer, and Grievance Officer.


Under the new rules, key communication forums will need to be followed by more compliance, including appointment of a compliance chief executive officer, a contact person, and a resident complaints officer. Social networking platforms are also required to have a provision for voluntary authentication of users. In addition, social media, when asked by a court or government official, will be required to disclose original author of a tweet or malicious message.


As far as OTT platforms are concerned, most of them still have to adhere to guidelines that prohibit a few. After a meeting with I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar, forums including ALTBalaji, Disney + Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Jio TV, ZEE5, Voot, Shemaroo and MX Player accepted the rules, they thanked the minister for addressing their concerns.


Following introduction of intermedia laws, Javadekar also contacted the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) representatives following the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code), 2021. DNPA is a digital media organization made up of traditional media houses.


Proponents of her case have been working to make actual transcript of this statement available online. In addition to publishing digital forms, the publishers said they followed existing trends of traditional platforms. They have also said that they should be treated differently from journalists in the digital arena only.


The DIGIPUB News India Foundation, an organization of independent digital media publishers, has been urging department to repeal rules or keep them in place until their concerns are addressed. In a letter to MIB, DIGIPUB adopted the MIB program and statements emphasizing the need for independence of all media, including digital media. However, add that there are further concerns regarding specific details of  Rules (Regulations) that were introduced on February 25 2021.The I&B department did not respond to Mint's questions about government's compliance with OTT platforms.


Indeed, many entertainment companies have implemented legal advice on potentially inappropriate content for almost three years now, and platforms have already taken a precautionary approach given the controversy surrounding shows like Leila, Sacred Games and Ghoul. "Since the end of the content creators, we have been incorporating the necessary arrangements in contracts and content approval reports related to following guidelines," said Chandrima Mitra, partner of DSK Legal, her company that contracts producers who support OTT platform show and who turn around, including authors and directors.

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