In news– The Union government has notified the formation of three grievance appellate committees that will address users’ complaints against social media and other internet-based platforms.
About the grievance appellate committees(GACs)-
- According to the notification, issued recently each of the three grievances appellate committees (GACs) will have a chairperson, two whole-time members from different government entities, and retired senior executives from the industry for a term of three years from the date of assumption of office.
- They are empowered to oversee and revoke content moderation-related decisions taken by these platforms.
- Keeping in view the transition period required for the intermediaries as per their requests and technical requirements, the GACs’ online platform will be operational from March 1, 2023.
- It will be chaired by the chief executive officer of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- Retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Ashutosh Shukla, and Punjab National Bank’s (PNB) former chief general manager and chief information officer Sunil Soni have been appointed as the whole-time members of the panel.
- It will be chaired by the joint secretary in charge of the Policy and Administration Division in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- Indian Navy’s retired Commodore Sunil Kumar Gupta, and Kavindra Sharma, the former vice-president (consulting) of L&T Infotech, have been appointed as the whole-time members of this panel.
- Itl will be chaired by Kavita Bhatia, a senior scientist at the Ministry of Electronics and IT.
- Former traffic service officer of the Indian Railways Sanjay Goel, and former managing director and chief executive officer of IDBI Intech Krishnagiri Ragothamarao have been appointed whole-time members of the third panel.
The role of the panels-
- In October2022, the government notified that it will start the process of selecting GACs amid criticism from civil society activists, who had raised concerns about the government’s involvement in the appeals process.
- The government had initially said that it would be open to social media companies setting up a self regulatory body provided that it found the body’s functioning satisfactory.
- What the changes essentially mean is that in case a user is not satisfied with the content moderation decision taken by a social company’s grievance officer, they can appeal that decision before the proposed government-appointed appeals committee.
- The government’s initial proposal had stemmed from users’ complaints about being deplatformed, or being removed from social media sites, without companies giving them an adequate avenue of hearing.
- GACs can also seek assistance from people who may have adequate expertise and experience in a subject matter while dealing with users’ appeals.
- The GACs will adopt an “online dispute resolution mechanism” where the entire appeal process, from its filing to the final decision, will be done online.
- Social media companies will also have to compile every order passed by the GACs and report them on their respective websites.
- Any person aggrieved by a decision of the grievance officer of a social media intermediary will be allowed to file an appeal to the GAC within a period of 30 days.
- The GAC will have to deal with the appeal and resolve it within a month of the receipt of the appeal.
Source: The Indian express