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Amid Feud With Twitter, Govt Prepares Draft Rules, Code of Ethics to Regulate Social Media

Amid a deepening 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.

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

According to reports, the Centre will “coordinate adherence to code of ethics by publishers and self-regulating bodies” and develop the oversight mechanism.

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. Moreover, 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 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.