I&B Ministry Warns Social Media Influencers; Don't Endorse Offshore Online Betting

(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued a directive urging all endorsers and influencers active on social media platforms to refrain from promoting offshore online betting and gambling platforms, along with surrogate advertisements. The ministry underscored the considerable financial and socio-economic ramifications associated with online betting and gambling, particularly concerning young consumers.

Furthermore, the advisory also extends to online advertisement intermediaries, cautioning them against directing promotional content towards Indian audiences. Additionally, social media intermediaries are encouraged to raise awareness among their users regarding the publication of such content.

Non-compliance with these directives could lead to legal proceedings under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. Consequences may include the removal or disabling of social media posts or accounts, as well as penal action under relevant laws.

While intermediaries are generally exempt from liability under Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000 for third-party information, Subsection (3)(b) stipulates that this exemption does not apply if they fail to expeditiously remove or disable access to unlawful material upon receiving actual knowledge or notification from the appropriate government or agency.

This advisory echoes an earlier cautionary statement issued by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), expressing concerns over celebrities and influencers endorsing betting and gambling platforms. The ministry stressed the need for rigorous scrutiny of any direct or indirect advertisements or endorsements related to such activities.

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