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Things won’t be as smooth as they used to be for netizens in India as the government has notified new rules for social media, digital media, and OTT platforms.

These new rules will be a game-changer for companies like Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, YouTube, and OTT(Over The Top) platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, and so on. The new rules also propose major regulations for digital media news.

Long gone are the freedom of all the social media platforms if the government implements this rule notified as Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021.

Here’s the 6 points cheat-sheet to these new regulations:

  1. With these new regulations, online messaging services like Whatsapp and Signal will have to compromise on end-to-end encryption because the government can read into every message, every picture, and every video.
  2. The new regulations will have a huge impact on the freedom of content creators, especially those who are vocal on politics and political commentators because anything critical of the government can be termed as ‘anti-national’ and might even invite prison time.
  3. There will be huge surveillance on social media that will have a negative effect on the freedom of speech on the internet.
  4. The new rules will also discourage investment in the IT sector as it demands more infrastructure and enforces more restrictions. For example, if Signal is not willing to share the message, it will have to cease the operation because it simply won’t abide by the country’s rules.
  5. Every company has to appoint a grievance officer to receive, acknowledge and resolve complaints which is again a point of confusion because there are many platforms, for instance, Pinterest, that don’t have a physical presence in India.
  6. OTT platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hoot, and so on will have to classify and rate their content and would be required to implement parental locks. This is at a time when they are gaining momentum in the country but the regulation could deter the growth

Post Author: Mrudula Mullapudi

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