The Information Technology Act extends to legislating over social media. It regulates, controls, and deals with issues arising from social media conflicts and legal disputes.
The government and platform aggregators have stringent policies to protect users and consumers from misinformation, breach of privacy, and abuse.
Morning news, updates on friends, exhibition notifications in the neighborhood, marketplace, photo albums are only some of the daily aspects taken over by social media.
Social media is paramount in networking and publicizing private life. We can interact and learn from people across the world only with an internet connection.
The IT Act
Section 66A of the IT Act restrict the sharing and transmission of unwarranted messages, comments, or mails that are offensive and may instigate violence. The rules are the same for any digital record, including images, videos, and texts.
Charges filed under Section 66A against any user for spreading misinformation or directly attacking another person’s religious or social sentiments.
It extends to sending messages solely for the inconvenience, danger, annoyance, insult, or injury.
3 years of prison
Offenders are liable to face up to 3 years in prison with a fine. The laws protect women against online sexual harassment, rape threats, or gender-based hate speech.
Concisely, it covers any information characterized as menacing and deeply offensive.
Social media observed an increasing trend of online businesses with increasing traffic and lower data rates.
Information Technology Intermediaries Guidelines
The Electronics and IT Ministry of India introduced the Information Technology Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules on 24 December 2018.
Modern times also observed an increase in hate speech and fake news. It has given rise to segregation politics and disruptions in law and order.
The laws also aim to protect the democratic fabric by limiting and accounting for any unlawful activities committed online.
Facebook collaborated with different High Courts to address hearings on fake news circulations by transferring petitions to the Supreme Court.
The High Court considers mandating the need for authentic National ID to use and access a social media profile. The court is also concerned with acts of trolling, online defamation, cyberbullying.
Without the owner’s consent, public authorities, organizations, or individuals cannot access private information.
Several non-government organizations, media houses, and activists have opposed the regulation of social media.
While they believe in actions against hate speech or abuse on the platforms, government interference could mean an intrusion in private space and suppression of free speech.
The implementation requires appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms.
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