Center ready to introduce tougher social media standards, says IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Friday that the Narendra Modi-led government was willing to introduce stricter social media standards and that all microblogging operating in the country were to be held accountable.

Seeking consensus from Rajya Sabha members for tougher rules on social media, he said the government was ready to address the issue.

Responding to CPI(M) leader Jharna Das Baidya during Question Time, the Minister said: “If the Upper House reaches a consensus, we are prepared to introduce even stricter social media rules for micro-blogging sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

“At this point, we are working within the framework of the Constitution. But yes, in the future, we have to make social media more accountable,” Vaishnaw said, responding to Baidya’s question as to whether the government had formulated rules or guidelines for social media platforms.

Also Read – 2021 has brought new standards for social media companies to “follow”; companies “share” their concerns but “subscribe to them”

Regarding the measures taken against the creator of the “Bulli Bai” and “Sulli Deals” applications, the minister said: “If the Chamber reaches a consensus, we are ready to introduce even stricter rules on social networks”.

Vaishnaw also informed the House that there are five significant social media intermediaries under the new IT rules and they are all required to publish their monthly compliance reports.

He also told Rajya Sabha that Twitter had appointed a compliance officer, a nodal contact person and a resident grievance officer residing in India under the 2021 IT rules.

Regarding the measures taken against the Bulli Bai app, and especially for the protection of women, Vaishnaw said that the protection of women is important to the Union government. He informed that an investigation was opened on the Bulli Bai case as soon as the matter came to light.

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