Govt considering separate legislation for social media companies: Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Chandrasekhar, Minister of state for electronics and information technology, said that it becomes imperative to develop safe and open cyberspace as the country moves towards a $5 trillion economy
The central government is considering separate legislation for social media companies in order to develop safe and open cyberspace, minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar has said. “The government is considering separate legislation for social media companies. For a country like India, where 800 million users are online, it becomes imperative to develop safe and open cyberspace as the country moves towards a $5 trillion economy,” Chandrasekhar told Hindustan Times.
The legislation will seek to address challenges like bullying, stalking, and child sexual abuse content. “What is needed is a collaborative framework to ensure users are protected against harm and the culprits can be prosecuted.” Currently, the social media platforms are covered under the IT Rules 2021 which provides a three-tier grievance redressal mechanism for users. “At present, the ministry’s writ to take action against the platforms only comes in after the grievance redressal mechanisms have failed. The broader issues of algorithmic biases and prejudices, user harm, and misconduct are being discussed as part of the new legislation,” he said.
The minister also said that MeitY will analyze the sort of grievances received. A wide stakeholder consultation will be done, and a draft will be released once the framework is formulated, he added. While stating that the legislation will also address questions of inclusivity and how to make the internet accessible to more people. He also stressed that a concerted effort will be made to increase cooperation between different countries as all aspects of cyberspace cannot be legislated by a single country.
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