After editors, Indian Newspaper Society worried over IT rules amendment –


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has expressed concerns over the draft amendment proposed to the Information Technology (IT) Rules 2021 by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, which empowers the fact-check unit of the Press Information Bureau to determine factual accuracy of reports appearing on social media. The INS has requested the ministry to drop the proposed amendment.

READ HERE | Editors Guild, experts alarmed over tweak in IT rules

According to the draft of IT rules, social media platforms and other online intermediaries will need to remove the content if marked ‘fake’ by the Unit. “The society is of the view that the proposed amendment will seriously impact the functioning of the Press in India, and hand over the responsibility of checking statements relating to a Central agency and imbue it with the power of the law. This can give rise to mischief as it will allow the central government to arm itself with powers to proscribe any criticism of its actions,” the INS said on Tuesday.

“By legislating to become a judge in its own cause, the government, through a proposed amendment to a set of rules – which have otherwise also caused concern – is taking a step to effectively muzzle criticism,” it said, asking the ministry to initiate consultations with stakeholders to create a mechanism which, while ensuring accuracy, meets the highest standards of fairness. 

Meanwhile, the Editors’ Guild has sent representation to the Ministry of Electronics and IT expressing deep concerns on the draft amendment, giving censorship powers to the PIB to direct online intermediaries to take down content deemed ‘fake’. The body also urged the ministry to expunge the draft amendment.

NEW DELHI:  The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has expressed concerns over the draft amendment proposed to the Information Technology (IT) Rules 2021 by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, which empowers the fact-check unit of the Press Information Bureau to determine factual accuracy of reports appearing on social media. The INS has requested the ministry to drop the proposed amendment.

READ HERE | Editors Guild, experts alarmed over tweak in IT rules

According to the draft of IT rules, social media platforms and other online intermediaries will need to remove the content if marked ‘fake’ by the Unit. “The society is of the view that the proposed amendment will seriously impact the functioning of the Press in India, and hand over the responsibility of checking statements relating to a Central agency and imbue it with the power of the law. This can give rise to mischief as it will allow the central government to arm itself with powers to proscribe any criticism of its actions,” the INS said on Tuesday.

“By legislating to become a judge in its own cause, the government, through a proposed amendment to a set of rules – which have otherwise also caused concern – is taking a step to effectively muzzle criticism,” it said, asking the ministry to initiate consultations with stakeholders to create a mechanism which, while ensuring accuracy, meets the highest standards of fairness. 

Meanwhile, the Editors’ Guild has sent representation to the Ministry of Electronics and IT expressing deep concerns on the draft amendment, giving censorship powers to the PIB to direct online intermediaries to take down content deemed ‘fake’. The body also urged the ministry to expunge the draft amendment.



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