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Social media firms need to enable voluntary verification of users: MoS IT


Social media platforms are required to enable users to voluntarily verify their accounts and provide them with visible marks of verification, Parliament was informed on Friday. Minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha said the government is aware of the risk and danger posed by growing phenomena of misinformation, bots, criminality and users’ harm in general.

He said that to ensure an open, safe and trusted and accountable internet for its users, the government has notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines And DigitalMedia Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“IT Rules 2021”).

“As per the rule 4(7) of the said Rules, the significant social media intermediaries shall enable users to voluntarily verify their accounts and such users’ accounts shall be provided with visible marks of verification,” Chandrasekhar said.

In response to a separate question on steps taken by the government to protect cyberspace in the country from anonymity and abuse thereof, the minister said for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of an offence related to the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the state etc, the new IT rules provide for identification of the first originator of the information on significant social media intermediary (SSMI) primarily providing messaging service.

“CERT-In has also issued directions under the provisions of sub-section (6) of section 70B of the IT Act, 2000 which cover aspects relating to subscriber/customer registrations details by data centres, Virtual Private Server (VPS) providers, VPN Service providers, etc,” Chandrasekhar said.



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