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Indian Govt to set up Grievance Committees within 3 months to hear discontent social media users' appeals

The Ministry of Electronics and Information technology (MeITY) tweaked Information Technology (IT) rules, 2021 paving a way to set up Grievance Appellate Committees (GACs) to hear users grievances against social media platforms' decisions on content.

Indian Govt to set up Grievance Committees within 3 months to hear discontent social media users' appeals

New Delhi: The Indian Government has notified to modify its Information Technology (IT) rules to rein big tech companies especially social media plaforms. Aiming to resolve the grievance issues of users, Grievance Appellate Committees (GACs) will be formed to hear the grievances of users against social media platforms such as Meta, Twitter, YouTube, etc. about content moderation decisions.

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The Ministry of Electronics and Information technology (MeITY) tweaked Information Technology (IT) rules, 2021 paving a way to set up these committees which can hear the grievances of users regarding content. The 'Grievance Appellate Committees' will be set up within three months, according to a gazette notification on Friday.

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Earlier, many big tech companies have placed their disapprovals against the GACs that will have the power to change the decisions of social media plafroms.  

“New amended IT rules are next step to realizing our govts duty to #DigitalNagriks of Open, Safe, & Trusted, Accountable Internet. Also marks a new partnership btwn Govt and Intermediaries in making n keeping our Internet safe & trusted for all Indians,” Minister of State for Electronics and Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar tweeted.

Each committee will consist of a chairperson and two wholetime members appointed by the Central governement. Out of three, one will be a member of ex-officio and two will be independent. It will have the power to overide the content modertaion decision taken by the social media platforms.

Under the new rules, the companies have to acknowledge complaints from users within 24 hours and resolve them within 15 days or 72 hours in case of an information takedown request.

It comes in a background when social media plaforms are facing a flak from Indian government for not doing much to stop provocative and fake content on the platforms. A day before, Elon Musk acquired Twitter – a popular microblogging site. 

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