Online Social Media Grievances And Disputes Resolution Services Launched By ODR Portal In India

Technology is fast evolving in India and our laws are trying to do the catch up thing. With introduction of new technologies, products and services on regular basis, a tension has built up between various stakeholders. A single incidence upon a social media platform can have multiple rippling effects on various stakeholders. For instance, someone posts a fake and violence inciting news on a social media platform and it spreads like fire. Till the time it is proved that such a news is fake, the damage is already done. There is no fool proof method to prevent such fake and damaging news and messages, but a basic level ecosystem can be developed to minimise the impact of such negative social media feeds.

This requirement of basic ecosystem is no more a need but has become a mandatory legal obligation on the part of Internet Intermediaries like social media portals, tech companies providing online services, search engines, online news portals, messaging applications, video and audio communication applications and services, etc. The list is just illustrative as many more categories are also covered by the legal mandates of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (Internet Intermediary Rules 2021) (Pdf). The Rules have also differentiated between a social media intermediary and a significant social media intermediary and has specified (Pdf), through a separate notification, fifty lakh registered users in India as the threshold for a social media intermediary to be considered a significant social media intermediary. These notifications have become operational from 25th February, 2021 and this has a direct bearing upon the responsibilities and legal compliance obligations of significant social media intermediary that they have to manage within 3 months from that date.

Rule 2(1)(j) of the Intermediary Rules 2021 provides that a ‘grievance’ includes any complaint, whether regarding any content, any duties of an intermediary or publisher under the Act, or other matters pertaining to the computer resource of an intermediary or publisher, as the case may be. This is a very wide definition that is applicable to both social media intermediary and a significant social media intermediary. By virtue of Rule 2(1)(w) of the Intermediary Rules 2021 a ‘social media intermediary’ means an intermediary which primarily or solely enables online interaction between two or more users and allows them to create, upload, share, disseminate, modify or access information using its services. So a social media intermediary has two or more users but less than fifty lakh users. The moment that threshold of fifty lakh is crossed, the social media intermediary becomes a significant social media intermediary who has to comply with more stringent legal compliance. Above all, there is nothing that prevents the Central Govt to apply the stringent compliance requirements of a significant social media intermediary to a social media intermediary if it deems it fit.

The Intermediary Rules 2021 are very complicated in nature and even big firms and companies would find it difficult to completely comply with their mandates. There are many small social media companies and few large social media companies that have a user base in India. While the larger social media companies still have time till the month of May 2021 to ensure stringent compliance with the Intermediary Rules, 2021 yet these large social media companies, smaller social media companies and other Internet Intermediaries are already required to comply with other provisions of the Intermediary Rules since 25th Feb 2021. Most social media companies are not complying with the same and they are relaxed right now as Indian users have not started filing grievances, complaints, etc with them. But the same is going to change very soon and Internet Intermediaries must be well prepared in advance. May be some Internet Intermediaries have already started the process to resolve disputes, grievance, complaints, etc of Indian users but only time would tell about their efficacy and utility.

The good news is that ODR India project of Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) has launched the first ever techno legal online dispute resolution (ODR) portal of the world. The ODR Portal is resolving disputes and grievances for multiple fields and social media is one of them. The detailed procedure to use the ODR Portal has been provided here and after login into the portal, select social media from the drop down menu of help topics. Create your ODR Request to resolve your grievance or dispute or complaint with any social media company having Indian user base. Both registration and techno legal ODR services of ODR Portal are free and only nominal Administrative Fee is charged to resolve all disputes and grievances. This is a user side remedy and option and even social media companies can avail our services.

Social media companies can engage us on a retainership or per case basis. Once that is done, all grievances, disputes and complaints can be handled through the ODR Portal. Small social media companies and Internet Intermediaries could be significantly benefited due to this arrangement as they can manage the cyber law due diligence and Internet Intermediary obligations without spending big money on external experts or for managing an internal team. Consider the ODR Portal as an extension of your company for grievances, disputes and complaints purposes. It is a wonderful opportunity for any company having an online presence and it should not be missed. You can contact us with your requirements and we would formulate a plan for you that would work for your benefits.

We look forward to have multiple stakeholders on our board so that their grievances and dispute resolution can be as easy, effective, economical and expeditious as possible.

ODR Portal Of ODR India Project Is Now Available To Global Stakeholders

Online dispute resolution (ODR) is a concept that is widely accepted and adopted these days and it is the future of dispute resolution. It is not the case that ODR has become popular all of a sudden. It took more than a decade for global stakeholders to make ODR popular. We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) have been working upon ODR since 2014 and it is only now that India has shown interest in the same. Nevertheless, we at P4LO welcome this show of interest by Indian Govt as a new beginning has taken place.

With this new interest also came novel challenges and situations for which world at large is not ready. As far as India is concerned, India is witnessing a technology explosion and social media has become a major concern for Indian Govt and Supreme Court. What is most interesting is the formulation of Internet Intermediary Guidelines 2021 (Pdf) by Indian Govt. It has brought back a stringent cyber law due diligence requirements on the part of Internet Intermediaries like social media companies, tech companies, online news portals, search engines, etc. The list is endless as the definition of Internet Intermediaries is not only very wide but also inclusive in nature.

To meet such a challenging task, ODR India portal was relaunched in a rejuvenated manner. We explored multiple technologies and tools (mostly open source) so that ODR can become an easily approachable and usable option. And the final product of our two decades of techno legal research and expertise is the new ODR Portal of ODR India website. It is now fully functional and it can be used by both national and international stakeholders alike. While we are adding more features and tools to it, yet stakeholders can start using it right now.

ODR India project of Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) is furthering the aims of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of United Nations. Among other aspects, ODR India project is working to ensure Access to Justice (A2J) and Justice for All. It is also working to strengthen Rule of Law in India while pushing for transparency in government functioning. Grievances and disputes are rampant in govt and private spheres and ODR India project aims to manage and reduce the same using the ODR Portal.

ODR Portal is strengthening A2J and Justice for All by not only providing a free registration at the portal but even the techno legal ODR services of ODR Portal are absolutely free. We only charge a nominal Administrative Fees towards maintenance of the portal and nothing else. There are no hidden costs or fees for using our ODR Portal. At the same time to manage our server and hosting costs and to reduce spam and frivolous ODR Requests, we have specified very nominal Administrative Fees. This would ensure committed and dedicated ODR services to those who are serious in resolving their disputes using our ODR Portal.

The procedure to use techno legal ODR services of ODR Portal is very simple. The same is as follows:

(a) Register at the ODR Portal,

(b) Calculate the Administrative Fees that should be a maximum of Rs. 2000 (Two Thousand Only) for most stakeholders as the amount in question may be up to Rs. 20000 (Twenty Thousand Only). If the amount in question is more than Rs. 20000, stakeholders are required to contact us to know the Administrative Fees,

(c) Pay the required Administrative Fees as per the amount involved. Our payment gateway is available here. You can also e-mail us for our bank details and we would share the same to our registered users. Keep a record of such payment as either a pdf or image file,

(d) Keep a copy of your govt recognised identity ready in the form of a pdf or image file. We support multiple identity documents and there is no restriction of demanding a particular id document,

(e) Now log into your account at ODR Portal and fill in the details in each column and upload mandatory files like payment proof and identity proof and then click upon Create ODR Request button.

This would create your ODR Request at our portal and we would follow up with you and the concerned stakeholders using our ODR Portal.

You can check the status of your ODR Request by either login into ODR Portal or using this link. If you have lost the ODR Request number, please contact us with all details. If you have lost control of your e-mail, please create a new account with new e-mail id.

ODR Portal is a powerful tool in the hands of national and global stakeholders to resolve their grievances, disputes, complaints, etc using ODR. So what are you waiting for, lodge your ODR Request today.

ODR India Portal Is Rejuvenated With Latest Technologies And Tools

Disputes resolution is one of the major tasks of a government, company or even a social media network. Without a robust, effective and expeditious dispute resolution mechanism, no nation can grow as the productive resources of a nation would be diverted towards prolonged dispute resolution processes. That is why online dispute resolution (ODR) can be used as a panacea for traditional disputes in our contemporary times.

As per Techno Legal Centre Of Excellence For Online Dispute Resolution In India (TLCEODRI), online dispute resolution (ODR) is a new form of dispute resolution mechanism that relies upon and uses technology as a core tool. The best part is that ODR does not require expensive tools, software or technologies and even a simple ticket system can be used for ODR purposes. Of course, as the stake increases, so must be the use of sophisticated technologies so that authenticity, confidentiality and veracity of the procedure and final outcome of ODR can be produced and proved in a binding and conclusive manner.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic our ODR India portal was resolving grievances of Indian stakeholders from every sphere of social life in India. But our hosting provider faced some technical and legal issues and our ODR India portal was struck in that process. With the help of Nixi, Registry In and its dedicated team and associates, we were able to unlock our domain name odrindia.in and shift it to another hosting provider HIOX India that is providing pretty good services.

We lost articles and some data from our old website but we considered this loss as an opportunity to build something even better. We have a data backup that can be used whenever required. We did a good and holistic research in this regard and bifurcated our techno legal ODR services and research and development into three different projects. ODR India portal would now help Indian stakeholders once again to redress their grievances and issues using ODR.

As we had a chance to rejuvenate our old ODR India portal, we chalked out a strategy for the same. We organised and launched few of our techno legal center of excellence (CoE) and each picked up a dedicated techno legal segment. TLCEODRI decided to support both ODR India and Resolve Without Litigation (RWL) projects of Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO). Both these projects have been successfully incubated under the TLCEODRI so that latest technologies and tools can be added to them by TLCEODRI and other CoEs.

We always believe in simplicity and ease of use for the intended stakeholders. So all that is required to avail our techno legal services is to send us an e-mail. Our Twitter handles can also be approached to contact us, just like in the past. You can chat with us at our TeleLaw blog. Audio and video conferencing options are also available to stakeholders who need them. Our WhatsApp number can also be used by authorised stakeholders to leave us a message on 24×7 basis. We have just two rules for any uninvited or spam communication. Either ignore it or block it, depending upon the severity of the violation. Follow all our rules and guidelines with all sincerity or do not contact us at all.

Besides these options, you would also have an option to directly create an ODR Request at our ODR portal that we would soon launch at this website. Our aim is to provide access to justice (A2J) and justice for all, right at their door steps. But to get best results, approach us at the very first instance rather than contacting us after exhausting all the remedies. That is a duplication of efforts and usually brings nil result. You are required to clearly mention what remedies you have already availed of so that we need not to explore them again. Non following of this rule may result in blocking of you at Twitter and our other services, including ODR India portal.

If you need any particular feature or tool to be added at ODR India portals, please contact us in this regard. We also invite suggestions from various stakeholders to make ODR portal more user friendly and widely available. We look forward to serve you and protect your interests in best possible manner.