An Overview of Rules made for social media intermediaries under Information
Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules,
The Government of India had framed the Information Technology (Guidelines for
Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, in February this
These rules have been framed by government in exercise of powers under section
87 of IT Act 2000.These rules require the social media intermediaries/ platforms
to adhere to a vastly tighter set of rules within three months.
Need For The Rules:
The digital India programme has become a mass movement .There is extensive use
of social media platform by common people in a very significant way . However
some disturbing development are observed on social media platform like fake news, morphed image of woman and content related to revenge porn that threaten the
dignity oif women. Misuse by criminal, anti national elements, inducement for
recruitment of terrorist, spread of communal disharmony, financial fraud etc.
There is no robust complaint mechanism where ordinary users of social media and
OTT platforms can register there complaint and get redressed in defined time
line . Absence of transparency and robust grievance redressal mechanism have
left the users on whims & fancies of social media platform .
Two Categories Of Social Media Intermediaries
Due Diligence By Intermediaries And Grievance Redressal Mechanism( Section 3
- Social media intermediaries
- Significant social media intermediaries (more than 50 lakhs users)
All the social media intermediaries shall observe the following due diligence by
Additional due diligence to be observed by significant social media
user agreement and shall periodically inform its user about the same.
- Shall inform the user not to host display upload transmit or share any
information which is harmful to child, infringe IPR, is defamatory,
obscene violate any law threatens the security of India, contains software
- Shall insure online safety and dignity of users especially women users.
- Intermediary shall remove or disable access witin 24 hrs of
receiving the complain.
- Shall upon receiving actual knowledge in the form of an order by a court
or being notified by appropriate govt. platforms should not host or publish
any information and remove unlawful information.
- Shall retain info. For aperiod of 180 days after any cancelation or
withdrawal of registration on a computer resource by a user.
- Shall provide info. to investigative govt. agencies for verification of
identity or for prevention of cyber security incident.
- Shall follow reasonable security practices and procedures as prescribed
in the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures
and Sensitive Personal Information) Rules, 2011
Non Observance Of Rules
- Appoint a Chief Compliance Officer who shall be responsible for insuring
compliance with the act and rules.
- Appoint a NODAL CONTACT PERSON for 24X7 coordination with law
- Appoint a Resident Grievance Officer who shall perform the function
mentioned in grievance redressal mechanism. All These Officers Should Be
Resident Of India.
- Publish a monthly compliance report mentioning the details of complaints
received and action taken on the complaints as well as details of contents
remove proactively by the significant social media intermediary.
- While providing services primarily in the nature of messaging it shall
enable identification of the first originator of the information however
intermediary shall not be required to disclose the content of message or
other information of the originator.
- Shall enable users who to voluntarily verify their accounts and provide
such user demonstrable and visible mark of verification, which shall be
visible to all users of the service.
Where an intermediary fails to observe these rules, the provisions of
sub-section (1) of section 79 of the Act shall not be applicable to such
intermediary and the intermediary shall be liable for punishment under any law
for the time being in force including the provisions of the Act and the IPC.