Recently, the Government of India notified the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 in the wake of growing concern around transparency, accountability and rights of users related to digital media. The rules aim to regulate social media, digital media, and OTT (Over The Top) platforms. The Rules provide broad powers to the government to regulate and monitor social media intermediaries including online news media. The Rules have been framed in exercise of powers under section 87 (2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and in supersession of the earlier Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011. The Rules are considered to be an instrument of a “soft-touch” oversight mechanism. The Part-II of these Rules shall be administered by the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology and Part-III will be administered by the Ministry of Information and broadcasting.
With the Lok Sabha elections near, it is really important that Indians have access to credible and trustworthy information before they vote. The issue is that many do not feel they do.Notably, after the Pulwama attack, social media and messaging apps had overflown with false and deceptive news content as people were trying to understand the horrible violence.This reflects the extent of the fake news menace and the threat it poses to the Indian democracy.
The Media and social networking sites are fast becoming a double-edged sword in the internal security regime. The digital and data revolution has exponentially increased the reach of traditional/digital media and social media. The potential of threats emanating from media to internal security is immense. In this article we shall discuss both sides of the two faces of new age media.
Social media has been playing a huge role in elections/politics these days. It can actually have an impact on the decision making of the people. In light of this fact, there is also a question arises whether this increasing role of social media in elections is good or has its own share of downsides?
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) recently proposed bringing under its purview the contents that are streamed on Over-the-top platforms (OTTs). There is a debate going on over the content on the OTTs, its regulation and the lack of it. In the light of the pandemic lockdown, when the traditional means of entertainment like Theatre are unavailable and consumer is largely moving towards these OTT platforms, some experts believe there is a scope for regulating the OTT content.