The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of India has advised all endorsers and influencers on social media. They are told to refrain from promoting and advertising for offshore online gambling and gambling platforms. This includes surrogate advertisements. According to the ministry, these advertisements have significant financial and socio-economic implications for consumers, especially the youth.
The statement said that the ministry has further advised the online advertisement intermediaries not to target such promotional content towards Indian audience. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has advised social media intermediaries to conduct sensitization efforts among their users, urging them to refrain from publishing such content.
Moreover, it stated that the advisory underlines the provisions of Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000. This section provides for an exemption from liability of intermediaries for third-party information, data, or communication links hosted by them. Subsection (3)(b) of section 79 specifies that the exemption from liability does not apply if the intermediary, upon receiving actual knowledge or being notified by the appropriate Government or its agency, fails to expeditiously remove or disable access to material being used to commit unlawful acts on their computer resource. This removal must occur without vitiating the evidence in any manner.
Failure to comply with it may lead to proceedings under the provisions of Consumer Prevention Act, 2019. The ministry of India has stated that this includes removal or disabling of social media posts or accounts. It also involves penal action under the applicable statutes.