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Formation Of Three Grievance Appellate Committees

Formation Of Three Grievance Appellate Committees:

The Union government notified the formation of three Grievance Appellate Committees (GACs) that will address user complaints against social media and other internet-based platforms.

  • These panels will also be empowered to oversee and revoke content moderation-related decisions taken by these platforms.
  • Each of the three GACs will have a chairperson, two whole-time members from different government entities and retired senior executives from the industry for a term of three years from the date of assumption of office.
  • The First Panel: It will be chaired by the chief executive officer of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The Second Panel: It will be chaired by the joint secretary in charge of the Policy and Administration Division in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • The Third Panel: It will be chaired by a senior scientist at the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).
  • The GACs will deal with two categories of disputes:
    • Violation of law and rights of users including the right to free speech and privacy
    • Contractual dispute between a platform’s community guidelines and a user
  • The GACs will act also act as a layer of a tech-sector regulator that the MeitY is expected to prescribe under the upcoming Digital India Bill, which is the successor to the Information Technology Act, 2000.
  • The GACs will adopt an online dispute resolution mechanism where the entire appeal process, from its filing to the final decision, will be done online.
  • Any person aggrieved by a decision of the grievance officer of a social media intermediary will be allowed to file an appeal to the GAC within a period of thirty days.
  • The GAC will have to deal with the appeal and resolve it within a month of receipt of the appeal.