Centre for Internet & Society

Finding Needles in Haystacks - Discussing the Role of Automated Filtering in the New Indian Intermediary Liability Rules 

by Shweta Mohandas and Torsha Sarkar

On the 25th of February this year The Government of India notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The new Rules broaden the scope of which entities can be considered as intermediaries to now include curated-content platforms (Netflix) as well as digital news publications. This blogpost analyzes the rule on automated filtering, in the context of the growing use of automated content moderation.

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Media Market Risk Ratings: India

by Torsha Sarkar, Pranav M Bidare, and Gurshabad Grover

The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) and the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) are launching a study into the risk of disinformation on digital news platforms in India, creating an index that is intended to serve donors and brands with a neutral assessment of news sites that they can utilise to defund disinformation.

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State of Consumer Digital Security in India

by Pranav M B

This report attempts to identify the existing state of digital safety in India, with a mapping of digital threats, which will aid stakeholders in identifying and addressing digital security problems in the country. This project was funded by the Asia Foundation.

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At the Heart of Crypto Investing, There is Tether. But Will its Promise Pan Out?

by Aman Nair

The $18.5 million fine levied by the New York attorney general’s office earlier this year to settle a legal dispute, raises more questions than answers.

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On the legality and constitutionality of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

by Torsha Sarkar, Gurshabad Grover, Raghav Ahooja, Pallavi Bedi and Divyank Katira

This note examines the legality and constitutionality of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The analysis is consistent with previous work carried out by CIS on issues of intermediary liability and freedom of expression.

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Beyond Public Squares, Dumb Conduits, and Gatekeepers: The Need for a New Legal Metaphor for Social Media

by Amber Sinha

In the past few years, social networking sites have come to play a central role in intermediating the public’s access to and deliberation of information critical to a thriving democracy. In stark contrast to early utopian visions which imagined that the internet would create a more informed public, facilitate citizen-led engagement, and democratize media, what we see now is the growing association of social media platforms with political polarization and the entrenchment of racism, homophobia, and xenophobia.

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Regulating Sexist Online Harassment as a Form of Censorship

by Amber Sinha

This paper is part of a series under IT for Change’s project, Recognize, Resist, Remedy: Combating Sexist Hate Speech Online. The series, titled Rethinking Legal-Institutional Approaches to Sexist Hate Speech in India, aims to create a space for civil society actors to proactively engage in the remaking of online governance, bringing together inputs from legal scholars, practitioners, and activists. The papers reflect upon the issue of online sexism and misogyny, proposing recommendations for appropriate legal-institutional responses. The series is funded by EdelGive Foundation, India and International Development Research Centre, Canada.

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Comments and recommendations to the Guidelines for “Influencer Advertising on Digital Media”

by Torsha Sarkar and Shweta Mohandas

In February, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) had issued draft rules for regulation of digital influencers, with an aim to "understand the peculiarities of [online] advertisements and the way consumers view them", as well as to ensure that: "consumers must be able to distinguish when something is being promoted with an intention to influence their opinion or behaviour for an immediate or eventual commercial gain". In lieu of this, we presented our responses.

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