Home / News / India /  Govt does not control social media intermediaries: Chandrasekhar in Lok Sabha

Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar clarified on Wednesday that the government neither controls social media intermediaries nor restricts the freedom of expression of users on social media.

In a written reply to Lok Sabha, the minister said that the IT Rules, 2021 cast some obligations on social media intermediaries to protect the rights of citizens accorded to them under the constitution.

"The government does not interfere or control social media intermediaries and also does not cast any fetters on freedom of expression on their users. The IT Rules, 2021, casts specific obligations on the intermediaries that no intermediaries shall not violate the rights accorded to citizens under the Constitution," the minister said.

The government aims to create open, safe, trusted, and accountable internet for the people of India, the minister added.

While answering the question of whether the government plans to appoint an officer to ensure accountability on social media, the minister said that the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, cast specific obligations on social media intermediaries about the kind of information to hosted, displayed, uploaded, published, transmitted, stored or shared.

The social media intermediaries are also required to remove any content which is violating any law in force. It can be brought to their knowledge by an order of the court or direction from the appropriate authority of the government or its authorized agency.

The minister also informed the action which will be taken against the social media intermediary in case they fail to follow the rules.

"In case of failure to follow diligence as provided in the IT Rules, 2021, by intermediaries, they shall lose their exemption from liability under section 79 of the IT Act and shall be liable for consequential action as provided in such law," the minister said.

In the year 2022, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued directions for blocking a total of 6,775 web links which include URLs, websites and content, and accounts on social media platforms, the minister added.

(With inputs from PTI)


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