The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that the entire process of finalising the laws on regulating social media will be completed by January 2020.
The Electronics and IT Ministry has drafted the Information Technology Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules 2018, and published the entire draft for public comments on its website on 24 December 2018, requesting suggestions and objections from concerned stakeholders and the public.
The government has said that various rounds of industry consultations and discussions involving various chambers of commerce, associations and social media companies have already taken place.
The inter-ministerial consultations were also initiated and undertaken to seek the views of other ministries, including Home Affairs, Information and Broadcasting, Health, Women and Child Development, and Commerce on the draft revised rules.
The updated draft rules are under discussion and as it has to be vetted by the Law and Justice Ministry, the entire process will be completed by January 2020.
While lauding the role of social media for economic growth and societal development, the government also raised concerns over the exponential rise in hate speech, fake news, threat to public order, anti-national activities, defamatory postings, and other unlawful activities in these platforms.
The government has also said that it will initiate a number of measures, including amendment in the existing Intermediaries Guidelines Rules 2011, to make intermediaries more liable towards the content that is published and transmitted on their platform.
Recently pleas were made in three High Courts, which have sought a direction that Aadhaar or any other government-authorised identity proof should be made mandatory to authenticate social media accounts.