Not just social media companies, new IT rules that also cover dating apps, matrimonial, e-commerce sites | Techy Kings

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Not just social media companies, new IT rules that also cover dating apps, matrimonial, e-commerce sites

Photo: BCCL

New Delhi: With the advancement of technology, almost everything from shopping to dating has moved online. Social media has become the source of information for a significant population. But with its growing influence, so did the number of complaints and to deal with this, the Center on Friday announced the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2022.
The new IT rules make it mandatory for social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. to follow the provisions of the Constitution of India. But it’s not just social media giants that now have to be more vigilant about consumer complaints, the rules will also apply to matrimonial websites, dating apps, e-commerce websites.

New IT rules for dating apps, matrimonial sites

The user-friendly laws also cover companies Tinder, Bumber, online classified ad platforms such as JustDial. com, and e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart. While the discussions so far have focused on companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and social media messaging, the amended rules have a wider scope as they cover dating, marriage, e-commerce and online advertisements, a government source told ToI.

“There have been cases where phone numbers, photos and other details of women were illegally posted on dating sites – without their knowledge – leading to their harassment,” the source added. The images were not removed despite pleas from the victims.

Not only this, but some women saw their details being released by classified companies illegally only to find no response from the dating sites and matrimonial platforms. At the time, they were slow to react. With the new rules, the companies’ complaint handlers will have to react quickly, otherwise a user has the right to take them to the Grievance Committee (GAC) for redress.

“If the consumer wins a reprieve from the GAC, the companies must comply with the decision or go to the Supreme Court. Even in the courts, a positive decision from the GAC will carry more weight and the company – which refuses to take action – can even be ordered to be blocked. That way people will be empowered,” the person noted.

In the case of e-commerce sites, in many cases they have been found to be selling illegal products such as slippers that have the country’s flag drawn on them or depict gods, cigarette ashtrays in the shape of a woman’s private parts. “Some of them do not appear to be illegal, but rather unethical. A citizen, or a user of the platform, can now ask the company’s complaint officer to remove the product immediately, otherwise he can approach the GAC,” according to the source.

Penalties may also be imposed if the government is not satisfied with the response, said Minister of State for IT and Electronics Rajeev Chandrasekhar. “The option always remains open. But we will first analyze how the companies react to the new rules,” he told ToI. The minister noted that the amendments impose obligations on internet companies to ensure that no illegal content or incorrect information is published on their platforms.

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