Technology for MSMEs: Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which represents around 8 crore traders across more than 40,000 trade associations in the country, on Sunday welcomed the government’s move to form panels to address users’ complaints against social media companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The confederation, in a statement, said, “that whatever was being served on these platforms in the name of freedom of expression was undesirable and can now be stopped through these panels, acting as a watchdog on the movements of social media platforms.”
The Centre on Saturday notified three Grievance Appellate Committees (GACs) based on the recently amended Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. Electronics ministry in a statement said that GAC is a critical piece of overall policy and legal framework to ensure that the Internet in India is open, safe & trusted and accountable.
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“The need for GAC was created due to large numbers of grievances being left unaddressed or unsatisfactorily addressed by Internet Intermediaries. GAC is expected to create a culture of responsiveness amongst all Internet Platforms and Intermediaries towards their consumers,” the ministry had said. The filing of the complaint and the decision taken will be conducted online.
CAIT’s National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal also said it is also necessary to block social media platforms from taking advantage of “intermediaries” under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act because even if a complaint is found to be correct, these platforms will get themselves saved under the guise of section 79 of the Act by calling themselves intermediaries while the government’s efforts to form a complaint panel will prove to be useless.
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Meanwhile, Electronics minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar told The Indian Express in a news report published on January 27 that the Centre is open to the idea of a self-regulatory body that can certify “trusted” fact-checkers to identify online misinformation, and it is not trying to “retrofit a particular organisation” into the process. Earlier the social media platforms had called for a self-regulatory body instead of a government-backed entity to redress consumer complaints.
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