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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ELECTRONICS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 30
ANSWERED ON:  02.02.2022
Banning Social Media handles
Kotha Prabhakar Reddy
Manne Srinivas Reddy
Manickam Tagore B
Will the Minister of



ELECTRONICS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state:-


Will the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology be pleased to state:-
(a) whether the Government banned multiple social media handles which are creating fake and inciting content on twitter, youtube, facebook and all other platforms, etc.;
(b) if so, the details thereof and the action taken thereon since 2014 onwards to till date;
(c) if not, the reasons therefor along with the penalties imposed/collected and the corrective steps taken/being taken;
(d) whether the owners of abovesaid social media accounts are being identified by the Government for action under the law and if so, the details thereof; and
(e) whether the Government has taken a decision to review social media platforms on their due diligence and if so, the details thereof?


ANSWER
(a) to (c): Government of India is committed to ensure an Open, Safe & Trusted and Accountable Internet. Under section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is empowered to issue directions for blocking in specific scenario of any information impacting or likely to impact sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to these.

Blocking directions are issued following the due process as prescribed in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009. The details on number of URLs blocked under section 69A of the IT Act is as follows :

Year No. of Accounts/ Websites/ URLs Blocked
2014 471
2015 500
2016 633
2017 1385
2018 2799
2019 3635
2020 9849
2021 6096

The directions are issued to intermediaries including social media intermediaries and also to Department of Telecom, wherever appropriate.
(d): Government follows the due process as prescribed in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009. Further, ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are State subjects as per the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. States/UTs are primarily responsible for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes through their Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs). The LEAs take legal action as per provisions of law against the offenders.
(e): The Government is committed to Open, Safe & Trusted and Accountable Internet. The Government has already notified the due diligence to be followed by intermediaries as “Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Codes) Rules, 2021” on 25th February, 2021 to make intermediaries including social media platforms accountable to their users and enhance user safety online.
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