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'Code of Ethics': Govt drafts rules to regulate social media after feud with Twitter


New Delhi, Feb 11: Amid an intensified row with Twitter over the fate of a number of tweets and accounts, the Centre on Thursday has prepared draft rules to regulate social media, streaming and OTT (Over The Top) platforms, and news-related sites.

As per reports, the rules of the Centre call for a self-regulatory mechanism that will include a code of ethics and compliance reports.

Code of Ethics: Govt drafts rules to regulate social media after feud with Twitter

The draft regulations from the Centre mention the need for a chief compliance officer who will respond on a 24×7 basis to any complaint from law enforcement.

<strong>Koo crosses 3 million users, popularity surges amid Twitter row</strong> Koo crosses 3 million users, popularity surges amid Twitter row

Moreover, there will be portal dedicated to grievance redressal and an oversight mechanism.

The oversight mechanism will be developed by the government, which will "coordinate adherence to Code of Ethics by publishers and self-regulating bodies".

Even though the draft rules don't mention any punishment, it clearly, however, states that the sites will have 36 hours to remove flagged content.

Also, a secretary-rank officer will have the powers to take action in case of an emergency and place it before the committee within 48 hours.

The draft proposes to remove, or at least heavily reduce, the "Safe harbour" shelter that social media giants sought over carrying controversial content.

The proposed rules park the onus of "due diligence" on "social media intermediaries" who have to warn users about what is allowed and what is not. The rules do not spell out any punishment yet.

Sites will have 36 hours to remove content flagged either by a court or a designated body.
The development comes at a time when the row with Twitter over blocking of accounts has intensified. The Central government on Thursday warned social media platforms of strict action for failure to crack down on inflammatory content, saying they have to fully comply with the country's law.

A day after his ministry rebuked Twitter for not complying with its orders to take down inflammatory content, Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said earlier in the day said social media platforms cannot give differential treatment while handling problems on Capitol Hill and the Red Fort.

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