The Central Government on Thursday issued a new set of guidelines to regulate social media, online streaming, and digital news media as it plans to introduce a change in legislation to assert more control over powerful Big Tech companies.
The development comes after as it mandated firms to appoint grievance officer, disclose the first originator of the mischievous information and remove, within 24 hours, content depicting nudity or morphed pictures of women.
Major concerns have been raised over rampant abuse of social media platforms and spread of false or fake news and information to which the government is bringing in a "soft touch" regulation, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said while announcing the new guidelines at a press conference.
"Social media platforms on being asked either by court or govt authority will be required to disclose 1st originator of mischievous tweet or message. This should be in relation to sovereignty of India, security of state, relations with foreign states, rape etc," said Prasad. He further warned that "double standards of social media will not be acceptable".
Talking about the OTT platforms and digital news media, the Union Minister said that the government has decided to have a 3-stair mechanism for OTT platforms. "OTT and digital news media will have to disclose their details. We are not mandating registration, we are seeking information, “he said.
For OTT, there will be self-classification of content -- 13+, 16+ and A categories. "There has to be a mechanism of parental lock and ensuring compliance that children don't see that," said the minister.