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“Takedown content that demeans women”, Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi: Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, notified the Parliament on Thursday that any content online that violates the dignity of women needs to be taken down by all social media intermediaries within 24 hours. 

“The new intermediary guidelines clearly state that if the dignity of women is sought to be compromised, namely her nude or morphed photograph is displayed, the social media intermediary needs to remove it within 24 hours,” Ravi Prasad said. 

According to the new guidelines, first reported by Hindustan Times on February 25, the intermediary shall “within twenty-four hours from the receipt of a complaint made by an individual or any person on his behalf… in relation to any content which is prima facie in the nature of any material which exposes the private area of such individual, shows such individual in full or partial nudity or shows or depicts such individual in any sexual act or conduct, or is in the nature of impersonation in an electronic form, including artificially morphed images of such individual, take all reasonable and practicable measures to remove or disable access to such content which is hosted, stored, published or transmitted by it.”

The government notified three-tier self-regulatory guidelines for the first time on February 26. Intermediaries had a maximum of three months to comply with the same. Significant social media intermediaries, who have over five million users, have to appoint a compliance officer. At the apex of the grievance redress system is an inter-ministerial committee that will be headed by an official from the ministry of information and broadcasting. 

Keeping in mind the content gradation that goes on all social media platforms, Ravi Shankar Prasad told that the government will not interfere. He added that the government welcomes dissent on social media, which has nearly 1.4 billion users in India.

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