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    Active GD- The new amendments to the IT Rules will muzzle the social media users. Yes or No?

    We are now announcing an Active GD on the topic 'The new amendments to the Information Technology Rules will muzzle the social media users. Yes or No?

    {This GD topic has been encouraged bythis thread by Dhruba}.

    We have selected this topic for the GD considering the wider ramifications these amendments will bring forth in the social media platforms including OTT platforms. We are not looking forward to a political discussion. Members can bring in the political angle but the focus of the discussion must be the effect of the Amendments on the social media platforms and the users and whether such restrictions are undemocratic. Please come up with your independent views and support your arguments logically.

    General guidelines for adherence

    1. Please refer to the guidelines in this announcement and follow them strictly.

    2. It would be good for the discussion if the interested members spare some time to go through the amendments at

    Let us have a healthy, active and fruitful discussion. The GD will close on the 02nd of June 2021 (IST).

    Understand the Amendments, read the guidelines carefully, think seriously and start posting your views and arguments with logical explanations.

    The best participants selected will be awarded a cash reward of Rs 150/- each. Other participants will also be considered for cash rewards if found eligible.

    Note: The editor who is moderating the GD will have the final say (in consultation with the team) in matters of dispute (during discussion) and a point or guidance put forth as a response by the moderator need not be responded to by the participating members.
  • #732613
    As a bigger overseas conspiracy has been hatched now and then from the people who want to bring bad name and fame to the working central govt, the Modi govt thought it fit to reign in the new media rule, which certainly has the provisions to control and contain the funtions of the social media against the interest of the govt. Owing to pressure all the social media giants have now agreed to have special officers who would coordinate time to time with govt and keep the social media away from the wrong doers in maligining the govt. On the other hand there is a feeling that the personal data shared by the users in many social media are bound to be shared and sold to the companies for the price and that is against the privacy of the members. Thus govt want to control and contain social media within its ambit otherwise they may close the shop in India.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #732623
    Govt of India has made certain amendments in IT rules which now make it mandatory for platforms such as WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram to aid in identifying the origin of the "unlawful" messages. It is also mentioned that the media network should take down such objectionable messages within a specific time frame and assist the Government in this task of pinning down the said source. Actually Govt wants that there should not be anything in the media which misleads the people of the country and all the media networks should cooperate in this matter. Under these guidelines, the social media, having more than 50 lakh users in India, have to appoint a resident grievance officer, a chief compliance officer and a nodal contact person to coordinate these aspects. These guidelines require these particular employees to be residents of India.

    With this background to this matter, there is going to be a paradigm shift in the ways that people or some agencies are using social media left and right in any way they want. Now as the pressure from Govt is made on the media network organisations in this reform direction, it is imperative that people will have to be cautious in what they are writing or responding or commenting in the social media. The amendments in the IT rules will definitely muzzle the social media users to a great extent.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #732627
    I welcome the GD:"The new amendments to the IT Rules will muzzle the social media users. Yes or No?"

    I declare my stand on this GD as a very big NO.

    I start with a very simple logic that any business carried out in this or any country is subject to the established laws and rules of that country. India is a sovereign Nation and it has every right to enact and implement laws and rules to safeguard its national interests and welfare of its people.
    It has been very clearly given in the press release by Government of India that"Social media platforms welcome to do business in India but they need to follow the Constitution and laws of India"
    I fully endorse that .
    The government further clarifies that the amendments ".....focuses more on in house and self-regulation mechanism whereby a robust grievance redressal mechanism has been provided while upholding journalistic and creative freedom".
    Hence there need not be any apprehensions of muzzling or curtailing genuine freedom of social media users

  • #732628
    The government has made and implemented the new IT rules to empower the ordinary users of social media when they become victims of abuse and misuse. According to new rules, the social media platform with over 50 lakh users will have to follow additional due diligence, including the appointment of Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Officer and Resident Grievance Officer and all the social media will come under the purview of these new IT rules. These rules are also formulated to eliminate child pornography, abusive adult content like imageries, videos and sites in content hosting platforms and other applications. Further, these rules will help to find out the origin of the message and will help to find out who started a message and in turn will help to stop the crime. Hence, ordinary users of Social media need not be bothered.

  • #732631
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #732639
    Giving too much liberty and freedom in any thing is going to spoil it only as people forget that they are bound to certain decorum and ethics in that matter. This holds good for social media also. If there are no stringent rules then people will post whatever they like and more dangerous than that is when people start posting things in favour of some entity based on the remuneration received for that mischievous and fake work. There had been umpteen number of cases where people have posted very disturbing facts or data or videos and at the end of the day it was found that either it was fake or related to the vested interest of some evil forces. In such a precarious condition amending the rules of social media operations and keeping control on the offensive writings of the people is going to be a very good thing for the progress of a society as well as the nation. These changes in the rules are only a beginning and we hope that with time more stringent rules will be made to fight the big problem of social media abuse that we are encountering today. The Govt has taken a good step to control the users.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #732655
    Liberty should have some limitations otherwise it may create nuisance in the social media if stringency is not maintained. We should take note of the facts that social media is being used by all sections of people including adolescents. If the discipline is relaxed free in writing all sorts of bizarre materials provoking the readers to go ahead with provision of dubious contents, the entire platform of Social Media and Facebook get flooded with obnoxious materials which would only further encourage the media corrupt. Even we can see that fake videos are uploaded in the Social Media to malign any political party or a person. In that way, the platform becomes the place of war for many of us. Hence we need to filter out the contents with some responsible authorities to check the unwanted contents being introduced by some irresponsible participants. It would definitely create a healthy atmosphere and would encourage the participants to post healthy contents for building up a civilised society.

  • #732659
    India is a democratic country. Anyone can come and do business here. But they should follow the rules and regulations laid down by the government from time to time as per the Constitution of India.
    All the people living here are given some fundamental rights and at the same time, they should not forget their responsibilities also. No individual has a right to encroach on the rights of others. You have right to construct your own house as per the approvals of the government but you should not put on fire to other houses.
    Business people can do the business. Social media can do their business but they should follow the rules and regulations. So what is the problem, for them if they have to follow certain rules
    As far as I am concerned, I say the new amendments to the IT Rules will not muzzle the social media users. In fact, they are beneficial for the sincere users of this media.

    always confident

  • #732660
    These amendments to the rules will make the social media giants more accountable. They should make arrangements to remove the content posted on their platform depicting nudity or morphed photos within 24 hours of receiving a complaint. When a sufferer gives a complaint the business people should take action on that. What is the problem with this? If they are not taking care of that they may lose their intermediary status. In other words, they could be liable for criminal action in case of complaints. These platforms should have information about the origin of any post on the platform. This a requirement as if somebody says that there is something wrong written about them the social media organisers should've able to do justice to the person who complained. Otherwise, people are trying to ruing the image of some people.
    The proposed amendments will not have any effect on the normal functioning of the social media platforms. In fact, they are more helpful to the common man. We all should welcome them. If these social media owners want to get some money from their business, they should work as per the acts. Freedom is not being taken away. Only people who are exceeding the limits and encroaching on the rights of others will be punished. I welcome this move of the government.

    always confident

  • #732665
    The new amendments in IT rules will not hamper the liberty of social media users. They will protect their rights of getting neat and clean content. These guidelines will stop the users who post explicit and abusive content and want to create violence. Further, there will be much quicker responses as digital media and social media will require immediate redressal for any government notices or court orders. "Any content which shows the private area of any individual in full or partial nudity or shows or depicts such individual in any sexual act or conduct, or is like impersonation in an electronic form, including artificially morphed images of such individual," will need to be removed or disabled access within 24 hours from the receipt of a complaint via the redressal mechanism. They will have to remove the objectionable content on their own or when it was highlighted to them by the state, or the court or any other responsible party. In this way, the mechanism will give more freedom to the common users of social media to express their views in a better and acceptable way.

  • #732669
    Another important point to be noted is that the reliability of the news that is getting spread through this media will improve. Fake news will come down. Nobody will venture to write whatever they like. The sites will be monitored. Wrong information spreading will come down. Many wrong things are happening these days as there is no control mechanism. But now the government is asking these social media players to have a self-monitoring mechanism. They want a reporting system. This will help the promoters to know the correct position of the platform and the government will also have some idea about what is happening over here. As a part of this monitoring system, they may have to have some responsible people and see that things will go right. A common man will feel free with these amendments.
    ISC is having a good monitoring system. Why such big social media platforms can't have? They are making good profits. Let them spend some amount here.

    always confident

  • #732670
    These rules will be helpful to strengthen the national interest and cyber sovereignty of the country. By its strong grievance redressal mechanism, the governments will have much more control over the data of their citizens the companies which are generating revenues from users. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. who are internet intermediary may lose their status in case of non-compliance. So to maintain their internet intermediary status they will have to continuously review the content and remove the bad content immediately on their own or anyone's complaint. Further, in new amendments rules, there is a provision of voluntary User Verification. Through this mechanism, the users who wish to verify their accounts voluntarily shall be provided with an appropriate mechanism to verify their accounts and provided with a demonstrable and visible mark of verification. It is just like KYC verification of online accounts. This will give users more confidence in the validity of information on the verified accounts.

    Social media will require to disclose the 'first originator' of a post if it is found objectionable or offensive. This will also help to found out the culprit and stop crime. Overall these rules will be helpful to common social media users.

  • #732673
    As per the new IT rules, the social media intermediaries will remove or disable any objectionable or offensive content on their own but still there will be a provision of giving users an opportunity to be heard. In this case, a prior intimation for explaining the reasons will be sent to the user who had shared the content. So, users' rights will not be diminished in any way. If the user has ample proofs and reasons they can explain to the social media intermediaries.

  • #732682
    With the introduction of the new rules more accountability is expected from the side of the users and they would show more maturity with the publication of the decent contents. If any content appearing on the social media is objectionable according to the eyes of the other users and a grievance arises, the user has to substantiate the same with some valid reasons. This pattern will create more accountability among the users. The social media functionaries will take care of the contents appearing on these platforms and would be free to delete the same if found objectionable. Hence the new regime will be beneficial for both the users and its functionaries.

  • #732690
    There is no doubt that the new amendments to the IT Rules will muzzle social media users. I will follow up with my arguments a little later.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #732691
    As it is half way in the GD and almost all the participants are supporting the government's view, I don't want to enter the GD now. But I want to make my comment comparing ISC with other social media platforms. When we support moderation in our esteemed ISC by our editors, why can't we support the moderation on other social media platforms? It will not be undemocratic, if there is moderation on social media content. That is why I think most of the participants are not opposing the government's view.

  • #732692
    There will be some threat to the people who are trying to misuse the freedom given to them. When small sites are able to see that their sites are not used for spreading fake information why so-called giants in this business can't stop such users.
    I know two brothers from AP who have some family disputes. All the relatives sat with them and settled the matter. But the person who is not satisfied with that used this social media as a tool to spread wrong information about his brother and spread all fake information by taking support from some of his close associates. The other person would not stop that and felt a lot. But there is no mechanism for him to make a complaint. Such people will now have some chance to represent. That way these rules will help a lot.

    always confident

  • #732695
    In my opinion not all the users are misusing social media and it is limited to a few who are affiliated to either some groups or having some political affiliation. In this situation if someone makes an inappropriate comment in the media then there is no way to catch him as the media network will avoid doing that and make many excuses that this is not possible because of that reason or this reason. I strongly feel that Govt has taken a very correct step to catch these miscreants who are misusing the media for themselves or their masters who are misguiding them. This strict action was actually required much earlier but it is never too late when it is done for the overall interest of the society and the nation. This promulgation of these new rules will create an environment where the network media houses will not be able to shirk from the responsibility of deleting the wrong and unlawful content as well as pinpointing the source and bringing it to Govt lens for punishment.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #732701
    There are any number of laws in this country or any other country.
    Are we knowing them or are we even concerned or unduly worried with them. When there is a law to hang or give life imprisonment to certain crimes we, the ordinary people need not worry about such a provision in law as e do not have any intention to do any unlawful act or commit any crime. That is, a law abiding citizen need not worry about a law enacted for the safeguarding of ordinary people or safeguarding the nation. By and by people may want some amendments or updates in the laws from experience. They will also know whether the particular law is misused by any. Appropriate remedial measures will be taken then.
    I appreciate the very lucid example quoted by Bhuvan#732691 about moderation intervention by ISC. Even ISC has certain posting guidelines. Those who violate them may be suspended and even banned when the breach is unpardonable or repeated.

    Here let us give te govt the place of ISC. The govt from its experience found that there need certain moderation on the social media platform. Govt had earlier given and expected self-moderation. However now the govt felt that self-control by the social media facilitators is not as per expectations and govt had occasions to find fault with that. Hence government wants to ensure that there is better self compliance by them and reasonable effective intervention when the situation warrants that. In order to ensure proper self control by the facilitators, government wants some responsible ofical specially designated for the purpose and who will be answerable and accountable to government.

    In ordinary life we all are under such stipulations and guidelines. If a person harbours a criminal, then he is also punishable for the crime.

    Here in the case of social media platforms if some posts of criminal nature of abetting crime, promoting riots and disharmony etc like the person who harbours a criminal, the social media platform should be answerable, accountable and punishable. It is as simple as that. They cannot have any special protection for their irresponsibility or being a vehicle for that. If allowed it will lead to direct connivance even.

    Hence Indian government is absolutely right and justified to bring certain guidelines and restrictions to the social media platforms operating in this country.

  • #732703
    When there is a board ' You are under CC TV surveillance", it is anyone's tendency to behave properly. Surveillance and even a feeling of it is a good deterrence to avoid bad behaviour and criminal acts.
    In the IT rules amendment and addition the government just ensures there is a warning of surveillance. This will to a great extent reduce the anti-social and anti-national propaganda being spread in social media platforms now. The feeling that there is no one to care what is going on and also the anonymity the social media platform gives emboldens even the timid to try out anti social and anti national propaganda. It is a normal management technique to make someone responsible and accountable or the acts down the layers, When someone is personally held responsible , accountable and punishable for his and his subordinates or clients' acts, then he will do effective supervision and avoid and prevent negativity from his subordinates and clients.
    This is exactly the government wants .
    Unless there is a compliance official and unless he is made accountable and punishable for offences and breaches by his clients(social media users) he will not ensure positivity and even himself indulge in overlooking deliberately and allowing negativity.
    If a social media platform facilitator objects to such a compliance official the it means they have something hidden behind their sleeves.

    A requirement of a compliance official does not muzzle freedom of a genuine social media user, but detracts a user with some deliberate criminal intent.

  • #732705
    Our constitution provides us with rights to speak and raise our voice, but also it teaches us about our responsibilities. Raising our voice is not bad but if this affects peace and sovereignty of the country then such right is of no use. In the similar way these big techno-giants always try to focus no their rights and extract as much profit from the market, and country like India is the best destination for the with millions of users, but they forget their responsibilities that their operation in certain country does not effect peaceful environment of that nation. Instead of promoting and building more modified structures to protect their users from cybercrimes they are liberalizing their policies, for instance new privacy policy by whatsapp. So in such case if concerned company is not taking action, it's the responsibility of government and I support the government to take such action at teh right time and by proving and setting an example that giants of developed countries can not manipulate developing nations.
    One more misconception prevailing in the country that new IT rules would prohibit users from promoting their voice needed to be discarded. As government can never stop you from raising your voice but it's only trying to protect you from carried away by fraudulent information. So new It rules would not muzzle users if they are using it in good directions, otherwise every appears like obstacle in eyes of law breakers.

  • #732706
    The new amendments in IT rules have sufficient space for a genuine social media user as they have provisions for "Ensuring Online Safety and Dignity of users, especially women users", "Voluntary user verification mechanism", and "Giving users an opportunity to be heard". These guidelines help people to escape from harassment. Further, if the users will break the rules and violate the nation's guidelines then only strict action or legal action will be taken on them by the authority. Otherwise, there will be no change in the usage of common social media user. These rules are made to discourage the people who post offensive content and wants to create violence. Thus, with the new rules, these people will be under the control of authorities.

  • #732707
    I feel these amendments will be strict enough as intermediaries will work under a strict timeline. They will have to remove or disable access to offensive or objectionable content from their platforms within 24 hours. Otherwise, they will lose their intermediaries status. Further, they will quickly redressal any complaint. Some people may say that these rules may end the privacy of users. But it is not like that. These rules will not hinder the privacy of social media users. But they will protect their privacy because Government has made these rules for prevention, investigation and punishment. The people who will spread the fake news and will hurt the nation's security, in that case, the intermediaries will have to disclose the information of the false information originator to the authority, so that they will become punished.

  • #732709
    These amendments are very necessary in the present situation. Everybody wants to get an advantage by using this media. If they are using it for good and if they abide by the laws nobody bothers.
    When we raise a thread on this site if the administration feels that the same is not fit to stay here the thread is being deleted with in no time. Why others can't do it. If anybody raises an objection what is the problem for them to look into it .
    Only people who want to play foul only will be worried about these issues. A genuine user will never bother. When I have to do business I have to do as per the rules and regulations of the country and also should follow all the protocols.
    India is a big country with huge population. No social media can afford to lose this market. Then let them follow the right path.
    Which corporate works in the country without following the rules. Social media has become a easy play ground to mudslide their rivals and in that pursuit they are provoking innocent people by raiding I'll tempers and emotions. So It is very necessary to have some rules

    always confident

  • #732724
    If we remember the pre social media era then we can recall that people used to write in the newspapers very cautiously as at that time newspapers were scrutinised by the authorities for any comment or statement which was unlawful in nature and tarnished the image of the Govt or the administration. So, people used their words very intelligently and if they wanted to tell something in a harsh way they used a sophisticated language to illustrate that and it was usual to use puns and cryptic sentences in the newspaper columns over the sensitive matters. Today newspaper has gone in the background and what is there is its digital avatar in the internet but I doubt very few people might be using them as by that time everything comes to them trough the social media which have more takers than that of newspaper. In the present scenario social media is dictating many things in the virtual world and many times is successful in making a vast and large trend which will force even the Govt sometimes to take cognisance of that. The problem comes when these exclamations in the virtual world are free and uncontrolled and can trigger communal or group rivalries and sometimes even lead to dirty confrontations. To mitigate these problems the Govt has revised some of the rules in the IT media sector and it would not only yield good results but keep a tab on the mischievous users. I wholeheartedly welcome these changes.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #732727
    Can we have specific arguments supporting your views, please? A reference to the amendments carried out will help. General opinions will take the GD along but bringing up specific points and supporting or opposing the same would make the discussion more effective and that is what we look forward to.
    'Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power'. -Lao Tzu

  • #732734
    The government has the keen eyes on such elements spreading rumours with the posting of fake videos which might create communal tension or disturbing the peace of the entire community. The users might be influenced with such fake contents and the elements of tension might brew in the different pockets. Apparently the idea is to circulate the healthy informations so that the users are benefited in the area of science and technology, some process that makes our life comfortable or latest inventions and so on. Such postings in the social media would enrich the knowledge of the viewers and as such any enforcement in that direction is welcomed.

  • #732736
    New IT rules have been implemented to control social media. I have observed different views of journalists. Some freelance journalists who are active on social media are apprehensive about being enmeshed in any legal case if they share or upload any content against the government. Is their fear baseless.?
    I read following news.
    Paobel Chaoba, a journalist in Manipur, received a notice signed by a magistrate and a policeman brought this notice to him. In it he was ordered, " to furnish all the relevant documents showing that you ensure compliance of the provisions [of the new rules]... failing which steps as deemed fit shall be initiated without further notice".

    Why he was given the notice? The reason is that he participated in a Facebook page of The Frontier Manipur and the discussion was about new IT rules and the topic was "Media Under Siege: Are Journalists Walking a Tight Rope?"
    This matter was brought in cognizance of the IT Ministry and the notice was withdrawn when Manipur Chief Secretary received a letter from Delhi stating "such an order could only come from the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and not from a local magistrate or the police."

  • #732739
    Social Media plays a vital role in our country. With more than a billion population, and everyone having at least a Facebook account, these social media sites are a big deal in our country. Almost 3 months ago, The Government of India announced some guidelines owing to change in some policies as well as some new amendments, like,
    1. As these sites are working for the Indians, they should have a cyber cell within India , with their own executive for solving the cyber crimes occurring under their site's purview within 15 days, in the same way , they have cyber cell executives in their own origin country.
    2. With almost 90% population using these sites, Government of India thought this to be a wise decision, to chalk out information and evidences in case of criminal cases in the country. So the changes involved furnishing evidences regarding the criminal's data whenever needed.
    Now, these social media sites, were given a period of 3 months, to bring out changes to their policies, where only Facebook came up with a statement stating, they are working on it. Rest all, specially Twitter didn't even respond even after 3 months expiry.
    As of now, earlier, if there was any cyber crime through these websites, these websites used to be out of purview and they could not be held liable for the same. But with no responses/ change in policies after end of 3 months, Government of India has the right to even drag these sites to the court in case of any default through them, due to non changes in the policies. As a result of which, WhatsApp sued Indian Government challenging the new rules and regulations regarding traceability of messages, invading privacy of its users.

    According to my opinion, I feel it is a great step. As traceability has always been in the list of IT rules of our country and these apps have been evading the same since ages, in lieu of privacy of users. Also I feel these apps should also appoint their executives in India to resolve the issues faced by the Indians , furthermore, being able to collect evidences through WhatsApp chats would definitely ease out of long stacked cases. At the same time I feel, these apps, facilitate several criminal activities, if not directly but still, so at the end these apps should also be answerable as far as national security is concerned.

    But , Right to privacy being one of the basic human rights provided in the constitution, these traceability of messages in an end to end encrypted chat would be violating the human rights. No doubt making strict policies for national security is great step and is needed at the hour, but achieving these through evading privacy rights isn't the only option.

    Last year Government of India banned almost, 200 apps, including PubG and several Chinese apps, but none of the apps filed any cases relating to its comeback, neither did any one sued the government for the same, because even these apps knew , its real hard to fight against a government in their own country regarding national security. But WhatsApp suing the government, also proves, the stand our country's government has according to WhatsApp, as they feel its easy to go against the decisions made my government . Isn't it ironical, the way WhatsApp waved off the powers of the government ,whose almost whole population is already a part of it? Who's at fault? Is WhatsApp being overconfident regarding its policies? Or has the people of India failed to showcase their unity towards the government guidelines in the lieu of hatred towards a political party? Or even worse, are these policies actually questionable?

    Believe in the existence of God the super power.

  • #732744
    I don't want to run for GD, but I do have a point to make: if someone or a group of people are opposed to anything that is happening in the country and are sharing their feelings on social media, what's really wrong with it? Why should his free expression and views be restricted unless he commits a horrendous crime or causes harm to others physically? Allow others to evaluate what is wrong or right while deciding whether or not to join them. For example, before Telangana has become a state, several Telangana leaders challenged different things that are happening in the Nation. Several Media organizations have encouraged this. Suppose Criminal stands in the election who is looting the nation are we not voting him?! and elected him that doesn't mean all who voted him to encourage or provoke for looting the nation similar to that if a person is expressing views of anything it is the people to decide to agree or disagree with him...
    Probability a theory based on Assumptions and Negativity(Elimination). It is used in the evolution of atomic theory.--- Bhushan

  • #732751
    Traceability is the major point in the new IT rules and it is required to find out the message originator. It is to track the people who spread fake news and misuse social media. End-to-end encryption is good but still, all social media platforms are not using this feature like Facebook. Facebook messages are simply encrypted but are decrypted at the server of the Company and then the recipient receives the encrypted message. So here, Facebook is not using an end-to-end encryption feature and a third party have access to the information of users. Very few companies like WhatsApp and some others are using this feature. But again as everything has some good and bad thing. Here end-to-end encryption also provides a safe place for criminals and give them the opportunity to flourish because there is no third party who can monitor them. But in the new rules as the social media platforms will have to review the posted content and remove it on their own or on the complaint within a stipulated timeline. And they will have to disclose the identity of the message originator so that strict action can be taken by the appropriate authority. It will definitely be helpful to stop the spread of fake news/ offensive and objectionable information and misuse of social media.

  • #732772
    Any person or even media must not be relaxed to post objectionable content or fake news or hate speech that can harm national security just in the name of freedom of expression. If some elements are doing anti-national activities and are spreading the violence and misusing the social media and on the other hand, social media are also allowing them to post anti-national post on their platforms, in that case, social media will also be equally responsible for these activities. Hence in such cases to control such elements, it is necessary to control the media. And the government is not putting any restriction on social media rather putting the responsibility to review and remove or disable access to objectionable content. When these companies are generating huge revenues from Indian users why don't they take responsibility?

  • #732781
    The latest Intermediary Guidelines and Digital media ethics code 2011(IT rules 2011) does not have anything that will muzzle social media users.

    The guidelines and code are more on traceability. Its aim is to remove uses the social media for genuine and lawful posts and exchanges and expressions need feel any apprehensions.


    In fact such due diligence and redress grievance mechanism are implemented in many other organisations, industries and sectors too. No one had resisted but welcomed. If they found any practical difficulties that was discussed with the govt and ways were found to make them more practical and realistic.

    The IT rules 2011 has the clause "..the intermediary shall inform the user of its computer resource not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share any information that, is " 3.1b.(ii) defamatory, obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, invasive of another's privacy, including bodily privacy, insulting or harassing on the basis of gender, libellous, racially or ethnically objectionable, relating or encouraging money laundering or gambling, or otherwise inconsistent with or contrary to the laws in force;"......etc. which are still known and people can understand obviously.

    I think the main crux of resistance by the intermediaries may be the clause 3.1.b(viii) (viii) which says about posts and content that "threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign States, or public order, or causes incitement to the commission of any cognisable offence or prevents investigation of any offence or is insulting other nation;"

    What the restriction is said in clause 3.1.d. as "an intermediary, on whose computer resource the information is stored, hosted or published, upon receiving actual knowledge in the form of an order by a court of competent jurisdiction or on being notified by the Appropriate Government or its agency under clause (b) of sub-section (3) of section 79 of the Act, shall not host, store or publish any unlawful information, which is prohibited under any law for the time being in force in relation to the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India; security of the State; friendly relations with foreign States; public order; decency or morality; in relation to contempt of court; defamation; incitement to an offence relating to the above, or any information which is prohibited under any law for the time being in force:"

    No Indian citizen user who has interest in his mother land India and who is civil and law abiding will have any interest to post such prohibited posts or content. Those adamant to post will be the anti-nationals and criminals intending upon creating social tensions and doing illegal and anti-national activities.

    The next probability is posts and contents originating from outside the country and getting hosted in the social media platforms.

    The IT Rules 2011 does not give protection to the intermediaries who host such contents knowingly or even after getting order from the Indian government to take out that.
    This is absolutely right and legal and within the sovereign right of a Sovereign Nation.

  • #732788
    These rules are not stopping anybody to oppose any political part or criticize government, as it has been clearly stated in the rules that:
    "The Government acknowledges and respects the right of every Indian to criticizeand disagree as an essential element of democracy".
    These are formulated to abolish misuse of social media. I truly agree that social media provides the best platform to raise our voice but distractions it has been creating mostly to youth of the nation which is considered as an essential resource is harnesseed. Every platform has code of conducts and ethics which are not present at social media and hence new IT rules want the companies to follow some ethics while operating in India.

  • #732790
    In fact, the new IT rules are better for the users. The rules are more to the platform providers rather than the users.
    As long as the providers are sincere and not encouraging any fake information and they make arrangements to attend to the grievances raised by the individuals, to remove objectionable information and submit their reports to the government.
    A shareholder in a company is having every right to question the management and the management has to address his question. In such a case why not a social media.

    always confident

  • #732792
    The new rules do not stop anybody to comment or criticize anyone as they are formed to regulate social media with the protection of user's rights. Rules also state that "Social media platforms welcome to do business in India but they need to follow the Constitution and laws of India, Social media platform can certainly be used for asking questions and criticize. So people should not fear that these rules will deter them rather they are meant for the safety and protection of user's rights.

    As far as traceability is concerned the request to find out the first originator will be made only in the case when there is sexually explicit content being circulated or a threat to national security. So all these myths are baseless and people need not fear the implementation of new IT rules.

  • #732800
    Agreeing to the stuff that, when there are CCTV cameras monitoring, there are less chances of crime, as they criminals get well aware of them getting caught. Same if these social media rules are amended the criminals will get aware and might end up not posting or having strict hacking techniques of non traceability. Whatever it is lets wait for farther announcements to witness what it has in box for us.
    Believe in the existence of God the super power.

  • #732805
    There is nothing as such mentioned in the rules regarding seizure of posting or criticizing rights. These new rules are rather focusing more in the removal of explicit , vulgar content, the content we would never like our kids to be a part of. With over exposure of social media, and the impact it has been creating lately, it becomes extremely necessary to keep a track over the stuff it has been allowing to spread.
    Talking about end to end encryption, which is not available in Facebook, I feel that might be the reason why WhatsApp has been confidently taking the stand against these rules.
    Talking about my experience, i have seen many kids fall for these social media tricks and ultimately losing money as well as respect. The only regret they ever had was, non traceability of the people behind these scams, they being so sure of these scams of being a group work. If that is so, the new amendments regarding traceability, would definitely help us from getting into these traps.

    Believe in the existence of God the super power.

  • #732815
    I think we may also peek into the possibilities of how the terms in question in the amendment will be interpreted. For example, what all may be considered as against the government or national security. Will a post criticising a government action or policy invite criminal liability if such posts are also considered to be against nationalism or national security? Will a post against the Prime Minister or any other minister be considered to be against the interests of the state?

    Friends, let us just widen our horizon and look into such aspects also since freedom of speech is not the only point under discussion. Let us check out the possible wider implications also.

    'Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power'. -Lao Tzu

  • #732819
    It is true that implementation of rules and regulations is sometimes more important than their inception. But if the Govt tries to improve the governance in a particular area then definitely better implementation will be on the cards. In recent times we have seen that because of too much freedom in the social media people were taking the comments and responses in a lighter way and whoever wanted made some comments not only on the senior leaders of our country belonging to different political parties but also on their ideologies and actions. The worst part is that some people are simply maligning the image of even the good and honest leaders and that is definitely a painful matter. People should not use social media to degrade others and fulfil their vested interests in that process. This would be a very dangerous thing if allowed by the Govt irrespective of who is ruling the country today. In view of this the changes made in the IT rules seem to be justified and will help in controlling the aggressive and abusive tome in the social media. Once fully in force these rules will make the social media users to thing twice before submitting any unlawful material.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #732826
    Yes I agree that social media platforms provides knowledgeable content and make us aware about what's ongoing in the country. But these platforms are affecting our most important resources, youth of our nation. I am a teen and all you know that these platforms causes distractions and provide such allurements which not even affect a single person but the whole society. Abusive contents, child pornography and millions of other anti social things which are published on such platforms without any control. Why we all are taking all IT rules only to right to raise voice, this voice can only be raised when youth of the nation can think in a proper manner and for this healthy thinking such anti social contents must me prohibited. And it's clearly stated in new IT rules about this. Moreover these sites never care about any age group, they only want their user base and they are getting enough user base in India mostly belonging to 15-45 age group which on one hand required for the growth prospectives of county and on other can be easily distracted from following right path. So I feel that prohibiting and formulation of policies against such content is the best thing.

  • #732831
    Google and Facebook said that they respect the rules of the land and they will try to work within the rules without deviating anywhere. These rules never take away our freedom of speech. But when we say something if there is an objection from the other side we have to face the consequence. If there is a fact mentioned in this media like what is getting printed in the news, there will not be an issue. Only for the people who wanted to propagate falls news will be answerable.
    As an Indian, we will have to take care of the safety and security concerns of the country. When a scientist working in a scientific organisation passed on some information to other countries he was punished. In the same way, if any members try to spread information that may be confidential in nature will have to face the consequences. I am not finding anything wrong with this.
    This act never said that you can't express your opinions about various issues. But if it is fake there will be an apt action

    always confident

  • #732842
    We should understand clearly that these changes in the rules are done to find out and punish the bad and evil elements in the social media who are trying to mislead the gullible and simple public of this country. Some or we can say that almost all the political parties are also taking advantage of the social media in one way or other by deputing their PR teams for doing a specific propaganda which have far reaching consequences in favour of them. Terrorists and other anti-social elements are also taking full advantage of the confusion and lack of discipline and order in this space which is a privileged place for a few who are benefiting out of it in so many ways. In this situation stringent rules will definitely help the Govt to nab the culprits who are not only misusing the social media but also making the country's name also degraded in the international platforms.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #732854
    The new Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics code has been come-in-to-force to stop the spread of fake news and misuse of social media. But now there is some fake news are floating against these rules such as that now the government will access and read all the messages on social media. Another fake news is that WhatsApp will now have three tick marks on a message and the third tick mark will show that the government has read the message. If the colour of the tick mark will be red, it will show that Government has taken it as an offence and will take it against it. And, these fake news are all around the news channels, social media and spoiling the image of the new regulation. We have also seen some news on social media wherein people had modified the news related to the COVID pandemic and circulated all around the social platforms.

    The government made the new rules 2021 to identify such people who modify the news and spread them among the public using social media. Two years back, there was a fake video of child kidnapping was spreading all over social media which was being considered of Tamil Nadu/ Bangaluru. But actually, it was made in Pakistan for educational purpose. Now the questions are: Who modified this video and why?

    There are several other examples that are why the government took the initiative and formulated new IT rules.
    Blocking any offensive content to stop violence is required and is not new. It was also being followed under the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009. The same has been mentioned in Rule 16 Part III of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. In case of any emergency interim blocking directions may be issued by the Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

    Further, criticism is required for democracy. And constructive criticism may be permitted but with decent language. Authority may take an action if any insulting language is used by anyone on social media to spread rumours.

  • #732872
    All laws are made when there any fraud or manipulation take place with the system. Even when we study law, we are provided with case laws after which such decisions are taken. Similar is this time, due to increase in frauds and cyber crime and manipulation with servers this decision is necessary step. These also states formation of redressal agencies and we can consider it similar with the consumer protection and setting up of consumer cells at organisation. Here for instance we are consumer of services provided by these platforms and cells need to be developed by these platforms. So what's the issue with this. When consumer acts are formed only market manipulators are muzzled not general men and same is this time.

  • #732874
    Social media platforms are being used for the spread of fake news. In a BBC report, it was mentioned that "Whatsapp had become "a vehicle for misinformation and propaganda". Some elements post defamatory and offensive content on social media in the name of freedom of speech and expression. Freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right of a citizen of India. But "this right is not absolute and is subject to "reasonable restrictions" "in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or about contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence". In the case of Subramanian Swamy v. Union of India (Defamation as a Criminal Offence, Case-Number: WP (C) 184/2014) where in 2014, Dr Subramanian Swamy made corruption allegations against Ms Jayalathitha and Tamil Nadu Govt filed a defamation case against Dr Subramanian Swamy. The Supreme Court reaffirmed the right to reputation as a part of the right to life under Article 21. Using the principle of 'balancing of fundamental rights, the court held that the right to freedom and speech and expression cannot be "allowed so much room that even reputation of an individual which is a constituent of Article 21 would have no entry into that area". In January 2021, the Bihar government also decided that defamatory and offensive social media posts against ministers, parliamentarians and other officials will be categorised as cybercrimes. The new IT rules will be helpful to stop the dissemination of misinformation and find out the originator of fake news/rumours. Further, verification of social media users(kyc) is also a good step.

  • #732906
    Reiterating my stand I will conclude from my side that these changes in the IT media rules are going to give some good results in future. I strongly believe that nothing works in this world without discipline and order and rules help to mitigate the problems in such situations. Once the implementation of the rules is in place we can perceive the benefits intended in the due course. One thing is sure that many users will stop their offensive and abusive ways just after hearing about these rules and the more shrewd ones will also fall in the groove soon. So, the ultimate aim of muzzling the social media users will be achieved.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #732910
    "DUE DILIGENCE BY INTERMEDIARIES AND GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL MECHANISM" is the point given a maximum thrust in these amendments.
    These changes are very reasonable and no common man who sincerely follows rules and regulations will never get affected with these changes.
    But people who want to take advantage by spreading fake news, wrong information will only should be worried about this. As a social media organizers' the promotors of these sites should accept the responsibility and create mechanism to see that people will not take undue advantage from the freedom given here.
    Definitely these are good for the nation as well as for the indivoiduals also.

    always confident

  • #732915
    While it should be our endeavour to post the contents in the social media upholding its dignity with clean contents and such contents would not be detrimental in any way. However a clear cut mechanism should be introduced by the enforcing authority defining the content being free from indecent activity. Without the clear cut mechanism, there is every possibility to err at some junction inviting punishment. Even the expression of the content writer can be affected with such some mental torture which one might perceive at any point of time. Let the expression be free from such fear with clear cut guidelines of the newly introduced IT rules.

  • #732961
    The world today is dominated by the ten giants –mostly US based IT/Telecom giant Corporate. Even without our knowledge every one's daily life is controlled and directed by these big business corporate IT/Telecom/ online shopping giants. They are companies like Apple, Google, Paytm, FaceBook, Twitter etc.
    Among them also five are acting like governments themselves. " New Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo warns that the "frightful five" — Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook — are collectively more powerful than many governments. "
    A) India not the only country:
    These and the other intermediaries and facilitators have become so dominating and doctoring and selfish that they try to act as super governments dictating the Sovereign Nations and their Governments. Their actions go uncontrollable so much so that most countries have enacted laws to regulate them and given ultimatum either to conform to their laws or quit.
    It is very pertinent and significant to know that Google, Face Book, Twitter etc are banned in China. They are not allowed in China. World's largest populated country has prohibited them to safeguard their government and people.

    B) Other major countries which have enacted laws to regulate the social media intermediaries:
    1. Germany: Has a law - NetzDG – which requires social media intermediaries to remove "manifestly illegal" content, including hate speech, , failing which they will be penalised with large amounts of fine.
    2. Australia: After the live streaming of the abhorrent terrorist attack, Australia enacted a very strict law requiring the social media intermediaries to immediately take down and remove the "abhorrent violent materials' or face enormous amount fines.
    3. Russia: Russian laws permit the authorities to switch off connections to WWW in times of emergency . It is also required in Russia for the companies to store data only in servers in that country.
    4.Europena Union: has laws that set rules how the internet companies and social media platforms should use, and store content and data. They are now trying to enact more stringent laws . There also the social media platforms face large fines if they do not remove extreme contents within one hour.
    There are many other countries where there are similar laws, Many are in the idea and process of enacting such regulations. The most liberal country in this regard, , is also having In US also there now serious calls for stringent regulations.

  • #732962
    When any law or act is passed in parliament and over that any dispute arises then or judiciary system is well enough to solve that problem, so why misinterpretation is spreading about prohibiting right to speak. I was reading a current dispute between Telugu channels and AP government, in which court supported Telugu channels that they can criticize government and it's made them charge free. If news channels where media have to follow all the protocols have so much of rights then how we can think social media which is user friendly would be asked to prohibit right to speak against government.

    This misinterpretation and fake news is the main cause for this revolution made by honourable government and IT department. They just want to regulaise the content so that people of the nation are not easily made fool and making content senseful.

  • #732963

  • #732964
    Having explained how and why the IT Rules 2021 of India has become a necessity ,
    having explained that similar laws are there in other countries,
    having explained that such defiant social media intermediaries are banned in China and North Korea etc,
    I have proved that those who oppose these IT rules are unjustified,ignorant of facts or simply biased.

    The IT Rules 2021 of India do not have anything muzzling freedom of normal expression and criticism by users; but it only seeks traceability and removal of unwelcome, obscene, anti-national, extremist content from the platforms on coming to know or on receiving demand from the government or lawful authority. It is thus directed to the intermediaries, who are not the innocent, naive and genuine users.

    No nation or government can function without laws or lawlessness by the people and business functioning within its territory and jurisdiction.

    So I conclude this GD discussion once more saying that "No,No,No; The new amendments to the IT Rules WILL NOT MUZZLE the social media users "

    Thanks to all participants.

  • #732965
    The government has implemented the Information Technology Rules, 2021. The government has taken this step in response to the order of the Supreme Court of India to form guidelines to eliminate child pornography, and other offensive videos online. To stop these kinds of acts and punish them it was necessary to find out the message first originator. Hence, in the new rules government has kept the provision for social media platforms to disclose the first originator of the information. So that misuse of social media can be stopped.
    Anyone can not spread fake news/ misinformation or post offensive content in the name of freedom of speech and expression. People should use social media to share relevant information not fake news and if social media will not take action against the people who spread rumours by misusing their platforms, they are equally responsible for that.

    The government has also come up with a strong and robust grievance redressal mechanism which will be including a Chief Compliance Officer, a Nodal Contact Person and a Resident Grievance Officer. Social media platforms will have to publish these details of their websites or apps. They will have to remove objectionable content themselves. They will have to reply to any complaint within 24 hrs. Compliance with these rules will be mandatory. In case of non-compliance with these rules, social media platforms will lose their intermediaries status.

    Genuine users of social media need not worry or fear these new IT rules. However, now strict action will be taken against the people who misuse social media. People must see the positive sides of these rules. So, I conclude my GD with the following remark that the new IT rules are to protect the rights of the users and will not muzzle the genuine users of social media.

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