How Do the New IT Rules 2021 Regulate Digital News Publishers?

The Centre has also proposed a new grievance redressal mechanism for regulation of all online media.

1 min read

The Centre on 25 February announced drastic changes and new rules for social media companies and also a new code of ethics for OTT streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hotstar. And this code of ethics was also extended to digital news media organisations like The Quint and also applies to individual creators like Faye D'souza and Dhruv Rathee who create content on current affairs.

In a 30-page document, titled ‘Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021’, the Centre has placed strict guidelines and regulations on online platforms and has also proposed a new grievance redressal mechanism for regulation of all online media.

Describing the rules as a “soft touch mechanism”, and aimed to “empower users”, Union Electronics & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on 25 Febraury said that these new rules will be implemented in three months.

However, a closer look at the rules uncover that they don’t really empower users and are creating tighter control and placing wide-ranging obligations on online platforms.

In this episode, we are going to break down how these new rules are extended to digital news publications and regulate their functioning, and the two petitions filed by two news media organisations-namely the Foundation of Independent Journalists and LiveLaw India, a legal media portal.

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