By Vignesh Shanmugam and Sachin Dhawan The Grievance Appellate Committee (‘GAC’) provision in the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2022 has created created significant controversy. While it seeks to empower users to challenge the arbitrary moderation decisions of platforms, the provision itself has been criticised for being arbitrary. Lawyers, privacy advocates, technology companies, and other stakeholders have raised many concerns about the constitutional validity of the GAC, its lack of transparency and independence, and excessive delegated power. Although these continuing discussions on the GAC are necessary, they do not address the main concerns plaguing content moderation today. Even if sufficient legal and procedural safeguards are incorporated, the GAC will still be incapable of resolving the systemic issues in content moderation. This fundamental limitation persists because “governing content moderation by trying to regulate individual decisions is [like] using a teaspoon to remove water from a sinking ship”. Governments, platforms, and other stakeholders must therefore focus on: (i) examining the systemic issues which remain unaddressed by content moderation systems; and (ii) ensuring that platforms implement adequate structural measures to effectively reduce the number of individual grievances as well as systemic issues. STAY ON TOP OF TECH POLICY: Our daily newsletter with top stories from MediaNama and around the world, delivered to your inbox before 9 AM. Click here to sign up today! The limitations of the current content moderation systems Globally, a majority of platforms rely on an individual case-by-case approach for content moderation. Due to…
Rethinking Content Moderation: Structural Solutions Beyond the GAC
Moderating content on social media platforms must involve structural changes rather than a piecemeal approach
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