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Timeline of Restrictive social media policies

This section lists down instances of restrictive social media policies by state as well as private entities. Indians have a fundamental right to free speech under Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution, albeit with reasonable restrictions imposed on this right. While we understand that Article 19 is only actionable against the state, we have also listed instances where private entities including companies restrict their employees from using social media platforms via restrictive policies. More often than not, these policies are designed to discourage any criticism against these entities. Through this section, we hope to ignite a conversation around restrictive social media policies. In case we have missed, please use the report button. Please write to us at mail@sflc.in if you would like any clarifications or give any suggestions.

 

Jul-20

 
 
Name of Institution : National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT)

Date of Policy : Jul-20

Still Applicable? : Yes
 

Details of Policy : 1. Any content maligning NIFT, its policies and employees will be viewed adversely inviting disciplinary action and inter alia, penalties, debarment from sitting the examination, campus placements etc. 2. No student may claim to speak on behalf of, or represent, the Institute on social media websites without the Institute’s prior permission. You should not declare, imply or indicate that the content of any social media site under your control is representative of the Institute. When posting online there may be circumstances in which the student gives the impression that he/she is speaking on behalf of the Institute or department. Students should consider adding a disclaimer to make it clear that they are posting in personal capacities. 3. Social media (for example; Twitter; Facebook; Google+; LinkedIn; Instagram; and open forums and Blogs) are now a common feature of everyday life, enabling and supporting both students and staff in academic and collaborative opportunities. Any form of harassment, including on social media platforms, is unacceptable and will be treated very seriously by the Institute inviting disciplinary proceedings. 5.Every student should respect individual rights to privacy and have regard for the feelings of others. They must not disclose personal details, including pictures, of other students or staff without their prior permission. 4. Students should be mindful of the enduring nature of information posted on social media sites and should be careful while writing posts or sharing information. 5. Using social media to post offensive comments, images or other content is a breach of the Code of Discipline under Student Rules & Regulations 2012 , D.2 and will result in disciplinary action and also liable for legal action as per the provisions in IT Act 2000 & Amendments 2008. 6. Civil and criminal laws apply to content posted online. Civil claims that could be brought include actions for defamation, harassment, breach of intellectual property rights, fraudulent misrepresentation or breach of confidence. Criminal offences that could occur online include harassment, stalking, hate crimes, coercive or controlling behaviour, disclosing intimate images without consent, blackmail, malicious communications and terrorism offences. Cyber laws as are applicable in the Indian Territory will be applicable to contents posted online. 7. Posting others’ content online (photographs, text, videos, music etc.) without prior and proper permission to do so, including specific terms of any licence – for example, credit the author and/or link to the licence, revealing trade secrets, violations of IPR et al will be viewed adversely and liable for legal action among other things. 8. The Institute is not responsible for, and does not hold any ownership of, any content posted on social media by its students. 10. It is mandatory for every student at the time of admission to sign an undertaking on social media usage along with anti-ragging and other such formalities. Online Etiquette 11.When using social media it can be tempting to speak and act in a way we wouldn’t when we are face-to-face. Remember that innocuous comments posted online may be misconstrued, as the written word has permanence/taken screen shots of/ lack the nuances of face-to-face interaction.

Any Coercive Action under the Policy : -

Link : https://www.scribd.com/document/471002042/NIFT-Social-Media-13-7-2020
 

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Aug-20

 
 
Name of Institution : Central Industrial Security Force

Date of Policy : Aug-20

Still Applicable? : Yes
 

Details of Policy : The major five highlights of the new social media usage policy said, Personnel to disclose their user IDs of all social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube being used by them to the department through respective units and formations. Incase of any change in user ID or creation of a new one, they must inform it to the department The CISF personnel should not use anonymous or pseudonymous user IDs. The personnel should not use these online platforms to criticise the policies of the government on any matter. Social media platforms should not be used as a tool to by-pass the chain of command and the proper channel to air their grievances.

Any Coercive Action under the Policy : -

Link : https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/cisf-issues-new-social-media-policy-asks-personnel-to-refrain-from-criticizing-govt/story-DSRfegLXBW1H5F2JdzPQeP.html
 

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Nov-19

 
 
Name of Institution : Bank of Baroda

Date of Policy : Nov-19

Still Applicable? : Yes
 

Details of Policy : The Bank's Social Media Policy for Employees and also our recent circular No. BCC:BR:111:390 dated 5.8.2019 enumeraiing the 'Dos' and 'Don'ts' of Bank's Social Media Policy for necessary observation and compliance by all employees in matters pertaining to the Bank or connected to persons/ incidents in the Bank. However, instances are observed where few employees have been found expressing views which are indecent, derogatory, un-parliamentary and attimes vulgar in language. lt is also observed that confidential and internal communication of the Bank is being shared on various platforms of social media including WhatsApp etc.

Any Coercive Action under the Policy : -

Link : https://www.bankofbaroda.in/writereaddata/Images/pdf/social-media-policy-05-02-2020.pdf
 

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Jul-16

 
 
Name of Institution : Central Government

Date of Policy : Jul-16

Still Applicable? : Yes
 

Details of Policy : The Centre proposed changes in the conduct rules of government employees to make them accountable for criticising government policies on social media. The government has proposed disciplinary action against its employees who are found voicing negative views on the internet about its decisions.

Any Coercive Action under the Policy : https://theprint.in/india/governance/dreaded-conduct-rules-haunt-civil-servants-as-modi-govt-cracks-down-on-misdemeanours/200836/; https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/rules-framed-civil-servants-not-allowed-to-criticise-govt-on-social-media/story-FVEtcWbAvsM7NjmPgPqgQK.html

Link : http://documents.doptcirculars.nic.in/D2/D02ser/11011_01_2015_AIS_III.pdf
 

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Jan-14

 
 
Name of Institution : SBI

Date of Policy : Jan-14

Still Applicable? : Yes
 

Details of Policy : Do not promote or enlist in any group/ community which uses the name or logo of SBI unless such group is expressly created or permitted by the Bank. Do not create any profile by using any ID otherwise than his/her real name. Social network profile should be created in real name only. Do not express anything that may damage the reputation of the bank or any of its employees. Do not post or upload any remarks / views which may be defamatory, indecent, abusive, or derogatory to the Bank or its officials / employees in their official capacity. Do not criticise the management of the Bank or the business processes or strategies of the Bank or policies of the Bank. Do not discuss or disclose any content related to any colleagues, competitors, customers, suppliers or other third parties including their personal details without their prior consent. Do not post, upload or share any such information which may result into breach of intellectual property rights. Do not use the name State Bank of India or SBI while expressing any views, unless authorised. Do not collude with Bank’s competitors or employees and canvass for any donation or third- party marketing /business promotional activities/ affairs. Do not express any view about the Bank’s working /business /any of its officials unless with prior written approval from controller. Do not express/ forward any views or opinion on behalf of the Bank or by using his/ her official position in the Bank unless with prior written approval from controller. Do not publish/ forward any official information/ circulars/ documents etc. which constitute record of the Bank, without prior approval from the controller. Do not link from personal sites to any State Bank-hosted websites, blogs, or social media sites, including business sites written by employees. Do not write about, comment on, or answer questions regarding any legal matter involving State Bank of India. Do not post or upload any link to chain mail or junk mail on social media. Do use social media sites judiciously in personal capacity and be personally responsible for the content he or she posts in any form. Use of social media & websites during office hours should complement the role assigned and not interfere with office duties. Do not expect privacy while using the State Bank's blogs, social media sites or Internet system.

Any Coercive Action under the Policy : https://thewire.in/banking/coronavirus-sbi-warns-employees-of-action-over-social-media-posts-against-bank

Link : Not Provided
 

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