Editors Guild Flags Draft Law

Centre Can't 'Solely Determine Fake News': Editors Guild Flags Draft IT Law

The Guild mentioned that a number of legal guidelines exist to cope with content material discovered to be incorrect. (Representational)

New Delhi:

The Editors Guild of India yesterday urged the federal government to “expunge” the draft modification to the IT Rules asking social media corporations to take down information articles which have been deemed “pretend” by the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

“The Guild urges the Ministry to expunge this new modification, and to provoke significant consultations with press our bodies, media organisations and different stakeholders, on the regulatory framework for digital media, in order to not undermine press freedom,” an announcement issued by the Editors Guild of India mentioned. “At the outset, dedication of faux information can’t be within the sole fingers of the federal government and can end result within the censorship of the press,” the Guild mentioned in an announcement right here, voicing “deep concern” over the draft modification to the Information Technology (IT) Rules.

It mentioned that already a number of legal guidelines exist to cope with content material that’s discovered to be factually incorrect.

“This new process mainly serves to make it simpler to muzzle the free press, and can give sweeping powers to the PIB, or any ‘different company authorised by the Central authorities for truth checking’, to drive on-line intermediaries to take down content material that the federal government might discover problematic,” the Guild mentioned.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Tuesday launched a modification to the draft Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 it had beforehand launched for public session.

The addition, made within the “due diligence part” for social media intermediaries, states that an middleman shall not be allowed to publish data that “deceives or misleads the addressee concerning the origin of the message or knowingly and deliberately communicates any misinformation” that has been “recognized as pretend or false by the actual fact examine unit on the PIB of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or different company authorised by the Central authorities for fact-checking”.

“Further, the phrases ‘in respect of any enterprise of the Central authorities’ appears to offer the federal government a carte blanche to find out what’s pretend or not with respect to its personal work. This will stifle professional criticism of the federal government and can have an opposed impression on the power of the press to carry governments to account, which is an important position it performs in a democracy,” the Guild mentioned.

“It have to be additional famous that the Guild had raised its deep issues with the IT Rules once they had been first launched in March 2021, claiming that they empower the Union Government to dam, delete, or modify printed information wherever within the nation with none judicial oversight. Various provisions in these guidelines have the potential to position unreasonable restrictions on digital information media, and consequently media at massive,” the Guild mentioned.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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