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One-size-fits-all rules won’t work for social media companies: SFLC’s Mishi Choudhary on IT Rules

In part 2 of our interview with SFLC founder Mishi Choudhary, we talk about user rights and how the fake news amendment fails to recognize the economy of the Internet

“Whether it is an Internet Service Provider or a Telecom Service Provider, whether a large one [platform] or a small one, everyone is required to do the same thing. A non-profit like Signal, which has only 20 people in San Francisco, is also asked to have a presence in India and have three people for grievance redressal. That's nonsense. It's never going to work. It's never going to happen. It also fails to recognize the economy of the Internet,” said Mishi Choudhary, Founder of SFLC.in, in an interview with MediaNama regarding the recently proposed amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. On January 17, 2023 India's IT Ministry made an amendment that outlaws platforms from hosting information fact-checked to be "false" by the Press Information Bureau (PIB). However, after being given only until January 25th to send feedback, stakeholders were left with more questions than comments. The deadline to submit comments* on the proposed amendment has been extended to February 20, 2023, in response to requests received from stakeholders, according to a notification uploaded by MeitY. Choudhary answered some of these questions, like whether the fact-checking provision intersects with the fundamental duties of users proposed by the Indian government in its latest draft data protection law. Other questions asked included: Could the proposed fundamental duties of data principals mentioned in the draft privacy law act as grounds to penalise users who upload fake news? Should all platforms be asked to follow this rule…

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Written By

I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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