New amended Information Technology Rules (IT Rules) to further ensure compliance of platforms, and safety and trust of ‘Digital Nagriks’ are actively under consideration, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and IT said on Tuesday.

The Minister met with representatives from various intermediaries to review the progress on misinformation and deepfakes. “Many platforms are responding to the decisions taken last month and advisories on ensuring 100 per cent compliance will be issued in the next two days,” he said on X.

Onus on platforms

According to sources, Chandrasekhar has told the platforms to abide by the advisories and any non-compliance will not be tolerated.

“They (platforms) have been told that such material (deep fakes) should not be visible on their sites and should be brought down immediately...he (Minister) has made it amply clear that they will continue with its ‘zero tolerance approach’ on user harm arising from misinformation and deepfakes,” a source privy of the meeting told businessline.

Many platforms have shown a clear understanding of what the right thing to do is, and are adapting quickly, but some platforms have shown ‘lethargy’. A final meeting with platforms to take stock of the issue will take place in next one week, the source said.

The first meeting took place on November 24 when Chandrasekhar met with the representatives of social media platforms and the companies were given seven days to act decisively on deepfakes, and align their terms of use as per the IT Rules.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will nominate a rules officer to ensure 100 per cent compliance with the prohibited content areas. At present, the IT Rules and Act require platforms to tackle harm, and also make sure that users on the platforms are well aware of what is illegal and what is not. The onus of ensuing this rests squarely on the platforms.

Platforms or intermediaries have been clearly told that 11 “user harms” or “illegalities” flagged under IT Rules are also mapped to equivalent provisions in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and hence criminal consequences can follow even under the current laws.

Meanwhile, speaking at the India Internet Governance Forum 2023 also, Chandrasekhar highlighted that all consumers should have access to a safe and trusted Internet.

“India is a case study wherein emerging technologies and AI are playing a significant role in inclusion, empowerment, creating more with less, allowing every young Indian to be empowered and be part of the innovation economy. However, at the same time, it is ensuring that all consumers and digital Nagriks have access to a safe and trusted internet, an internet that remains open, where intermediaries and platforms are accountable for their conduct, accountable for the harm under the Indian law,” he said.