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Social Media Grievance Apellate Committee Said to Include One Government Nominee: Report

The government’s grievance apellate committee being formulated to investigate appeals filed by users against grievance offers of social media platforms may include one government nominee, according to a report. The committee is reportedly expected to be set up via a proposed amendment to the IT Rules for a citizen-centric mechanism, which could be notified in the coming weeks. The government is yet to officially announce details of the committee, which is expected to provide users with a mechanism to appeal arbitrary decisions of Big Tech firms in connection with content moderation and account takedowns.

According to a report by PTI on Thursday citing an unnamed source, the grievance apellate committee for social media users that is expected to be set up via an amendment to the IT Rules, could also include a member nominated by the government, along with independent experts.

The proposed change to the rules that would enable the forming of the committee could possibly be notified in less than a month, as per the report.  

The composition of the upcoming grievance apellate committee to create a citizen-centric mechanism to enable citizens to appeal against decisions taken by Big Tech firms’ grievance officers will be notified as part of the IT Rules, the report states, citing a government official aware of the developments.  

The grievance apellate committee, which is expected to address appeals within 30 days, is designed to grant social media users access to a mechanism for resolution of their grievances that are said to have been unresolved, despite the changes to the IT Rules last year, that require Big Tech firms to appoint a grievance redressal officer in the country.  

Back in June, the government had circulated draft rules for the amended IT Rules to set up the grievance apellate committee, which were later withdrawn. Weeks later, the US-India Business Council, part of the US Chamber of Commerce, and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum reportedly expressed concerns about the independence of the commitee, if the government had a hand in its formation. 

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