‘Milestone to ensure internet is safe’: Government launches Grievance Appellate Committee

The GAC can be approached by users dissatisfied with decisions made by intermediaries.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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The Grievance Appellate Committee portal was officially launched today by the union ministry of electronics and information technology under the IT Rules. This mechanism can be approached by users dissatisfied with decisions made by grievance officers of social media companies and other intermediaries.

While launching the digital platform, minister of state for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “This is one more milestone in the evolving framework to ensure the internet is open, safe and trusted.” He told ANI that he hoped the “issue of grievances that many thousands of citizens have expressed” would be “progressively” and “systematically” addressed.

Newslaundry had reported in October that the IT ministry had notified amendments to the IT Rules 2021 to create the GAC, thus giving the government the ability to rule on the validity of content moderation decisions taken by all intermediaries. Each GAC will comprise three government-appointed, full-time members, including a chairperson. The committee will carry out the entire grievance appeal process through an online dispute resolution mechanism.

At the time, Chandrasekhar had told the media that the government was “not really interested in playing the role of an ombudsman” but was taking that responsibility “reluctantly” as the intermediaries’ grievance redressal mechanism is “broken”.

It should be noted that the GAC’s decisions will be binding on the intermediary. Read Newslaundry’s detailed report on how the GAC will deal with grievances and the specific scope of its powers over takedown of content.

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