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gacs social media firms: Govt forms grievance committees to address complaints against social media platforms

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The government has formed three grievance appellate committees (GAC) for grievance redressal of complaints of social media users against decisions of grievance redressal officers of social media intermediaries.

Of the three, one will be led by the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Indian Cyber Coordination Centre (ICCC) of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), while the other two will be led by joint secretary in charge of Policy and Administration Division in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) and Kavita Bhatia, scientist in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

The panel led by the CEO of the ICCC has retired Indian Police Service officer Ashutosh Shukla and Sunil Soni, the former chief general manager and chief information officer of Punjab National Bank as whole-time members for a period of three years.

The second panel, led by the joint secretary of I&B ministry will have retired Commodore Sunil Kumar Gupta and Kavindra Sharma, the former vice president of L&T Infotech.

The third panel, led by Kavita Bhatia, a scientist in the IT ministry, has Sanjay Goel, a retired Indian Railway Traffic Service officer and Krishnagiri Ragothamarao Murali Mohan, the former managing director and CEO of IDBI Intech.

In the amendment to the IT Rules of 2021, the government had introduced the concept of GACs to hear complaints of social media users against the decisions of grievance redressal officers of the intermediaries.

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Earlier this year, the IT ministry had invited applications for the post of the chairperson as well as whole-time members of the GAC. The government had then said that the chairperson as well as the members of the committee should have knowledge or experience of the functioning of online intermediaries, including social media intermediaries.

The IT ministry has decided to go ahead with a centrally appointed GAC despite concerted opposition from social media intermediaries and policy advocacy groups, which have raised doubts about the independence of a government-appointed body.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as Twitter had pushed for a self-regulated industry body to act as a grievance redressal forum instead of a government-backed entity. These companies had also jointly submitted a draft proposal for a self-regulated entity to Meity in August.

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The government has formed three grievance appellate committees (GAC) for grievance redressal of complaints of social media users against decisions of grievance redressal officers of social media intermediaries.

Of the three, one will be led by the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Indian Cyber Coordination Centre (ICCC) of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), while the other two will be led by joint secretary in charge of Policy and Administration Division in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) and Kavita Bhatia, scientist in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

The panel led by the CEO of the ICCC has retired Indian Police Service officer Ashutosh Shukla and Sunil Soni, the former chief general manager and chief information officer of Punjab National Bank as whole-time members for a period of three years.

The second panel, led by the joint secretary of I&B ministry will have retired Commodore Sunil Kumar Gupta and Kavindra Sharma, the former vice president of L&T Infotech.

The third panel, led by Kavita Bhatia, a scientist in the IT ministry, has Sanjay Goel, a retired Indian Railway Traffic Service officer and Krishnagiri Ragothamarao Murali Mohan, the former managing director and CEO of IDBI Intech.

In the amendment to the IT Rules of 2021, the government had introduced the concept of GACs to hear complaints of social media users against the decisions of grievance redressal officers of the intermediaries.

Discover the stories of your interest


Earlier this year, the IT ministry had invited applications for the post of the chairperson as well as whole-time members of the GAC. The government had then said that the chairperson as well as the members of the committee should have knowledge or experience of the functioning of online intermediaries, including social media intermediaries.

The IT ministry has decided to go ahead with a centrally appointed GAC despite concerted opposition from social media intermediaries and policy advocacy groups, which have raised doubts about the independence of a government-appointed body.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as Twitter had pushed for a self-regulated industry body to act as a grievance redressal forum instead of a government-backed entity. These companies had also jointly submitted a draft proposal for a self-regulated entity to Meity in August.

Stay on top of technology and startup news that matters. Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest and must-read tech news, delivered straight to your inbox.

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