New Delhi | Jagran Technology Desk: Following the dispute with Twitter, the Indian government plans to make social media companies fall in line regarding contentious content by erasing it quickly and assisting in investigations carried out on the same. These new rules will also apply to digital news organisations and OTT platforms. 

Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad will hold a press conference at National Media Centre in New Delhi at 2 pm today. The ministers are likely to announce the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

According to a Reuters report, the government's draft regulation of Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code aims to have tighter control over the powerful big tech firms. 

The latest draft rules - which would be legally enforcable - say companies should remove content as early as possible, but not later than 36 hours, after a government or legal order. They must also assist in investigations or other cyber security-related incidents within 72 hours of a request.

Further, if a post depicts an individual in any sexual act or conduct, then companies must disable or remove such content within a day of receiving a complaint, the rules added.

Facebook faced a global backlash from publishers and politicians last week after blocking news feeds in Australia in a dispute with the government over revenue-sharing.

In India, Twitter ignored orders to remove content over farmers' protests, fuelling the zeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government since 2018 to tighten regulation for content it deems disinformation or unlawful.

Moreover, the new rules to regulate digital content and streaming services will include a code of ethics that bans content affecting "the sovereignty and integrity of India" and that which threatens national security.

The rules would apply across other digital and online media, the draft proposal said. “A publisher shall take into consideration India’s multi-racial and multi-religious context and exercise due caution and discretion when featuring the activities, beliefs, practices, or views of any racial or religious group,” the draft rules said.

Referring to films and other entertainment, including web-based serials, the draft rules called for a "classification rating" to describe content and advise discretion. Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have faced complaints in India for obscenity.

Police in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh questioned an Amazon executive for nearly four hours on Tuesday over allegations that a political drama, "Tandav", hurt religious sentiments and caused public anger.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta