Government to tighten social media sites after Supreme Court Points

By VARINDIA - 2021-03-07

Government to tighten social media sites after Supreme Court Points

The government has unveiled tough rules for bringing control over large social media and messaging firms including Facebook and Twitter, digital news websites and video-streaming platforms.

 

The government had asked OTT platforms to come up with a code of self-regulation multiple times but the last draft of the same had allowed for no third-party intervention. The Information Technology Rules 2021 (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) were notified on February 25, were described as “soft-touch regulatory architecture" by the government.

 

The government assured the Supreme Court it would draw up a more stringent version of rules it had unveiled last week after the top court faulted them for "lacking in teeth.



The court shielded Amazon Prime Video India head Aparna Purohit from arrest in connection with a Noida case over the alleged anti-Hindu content of Tandav, a series shown on the streaming service. She was granted the protection on condition she cooperated with the investigation. The other judge on the bench was R Subhash Reddy.

 

Amazon has deleted two scenes from Tandav at the instruction of the government and was willing to delete more if asked to do so, said senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Purohit along with senior advocate Siddharth Luthra.

 

The allegedly objectionable scenes have been removed and the makers have apologised for the same, he argued. Rohatgi also complained to the court about the "pornography" reference made by the bench with regard to content aired on the Prime Video platform.



"There is nothing pornographic about it," he said. "We do not show pornography." Rohatgi cited his personal experience to argue that the platforms air quality shows and movies that he watches often.



He also invited the judges and Mehta to view the content for themselves. The Supreme Court bench also issued notices to complainants in the case seeking their formal response on her plea against the multiple FIRs filed across the country.


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