New Delhi: The contentious Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) proposed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for social media intermediaries will go ahead as planned, according to sources.
The government had suggested in its draft recommendations of the IT rules, 2021 that such a committee would help address complaints against Meta, Twitter and other social media platforms.
Sources told ThePrint that despite the pushback from industry stakeholders, the ministry has proceeded with the committee which can resolve complaints within 24 to 36 hours.
“Child sexual abuse, nudity and sexual assault content are some categories that require immediate redressal. Most of them (social media platforms) had concerns about heavy regulatory compliances and hence they disagreed with a government-backed committee. But the proposal has already been sent to officials in other ministries for perusal and comments,” the source said.
Earlier, Meta, Google and micro-blogging site Twitter had told the government that a self-regulatory body would enhance their complaint redressal methods collectively. However, that is not likely to happen now.
Currently, Meta has an oversight board that reviews policies contentious with its users like content moderation, misinformation and disinformation.
According to ministry officials, a government-backed redressal process could prevent users from approaching courts which may lead to a long legal altercation.
Discussions about a self-regulatory committee among intermediaries were also not successful after Google said it was concerned about its policies being reviewed externally. They were not comfortable reinstating content that may have violated their internal policies.