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More stringent norms for social media platforms in the works: government source

The new norms may lead to the dilution of safe harbour rules.

The new norms may lead to the dilution of safe harbour rules. | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The government is working to bring in more stringent norms for social media platforms aimed at increasing accountability for their content, which may lead to dilution of safe harbour rules that protects intermediaries from being held liable for third-party content on their platforms, a senior government source told The Hindu.

“Today internet, social media, digital...are part of our lives. Now, that is giving us a huge advantage on one side and it is causing a serious risk on the other side... We have to see, how do we accelerate that advantage and at the same time reduce the risk... to mitigate risks? Whatever legal structure we make, it needs to have cyber security as a key element. Other key elements are accountability of social media and protection of personal data,” the source said.

The work is going on on this and the government will soon initiate discussions with industry and stakeholders on the new framework.

“If you look at Europe, East Asia, many states of the U.S.... each and every place is moving towards more accountability for social media. What does that mean? Basically, it means that when you are reading something you know that someone is accountable for what is written... accountability which is applicable in the analogue world, like with papers and magazine, this should be there in the digital world as well. That is the fundamental construct towards which everybody is moving,” the official, who did not want to be named, said.

Asked about the safe harbour rules, the official said that many countries are moving to newer legislations where there is no concept of “complete safe harbour”.

“The new IT rules laws came into effect last year...They have served a purpose, but social media is moving forward so we need newer laws to keep pace with this...,” the source added.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2022 9:28:24 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/stricter-it-rules-in-the-works-for-social-media/article65402141.ece