Registration is not needed for digital news platforms under IT Rules, says Anurag Thakur

The minister added that 1800+ digital news publishers have furnished information sought by the ministry

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Aug 2, 2021 7:40 AM
Anurag Thakur

Information & Broadcasting (I&B) minister Anurag Thakur has said that the digital news platforms don't have to register with the ministry under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. He also said that the rules only provide furnishing of certain information by digital news publishers. The minister added that 1800+ digital news publishers have furnished information sought by the ministry.
"The Rules provide for digital news publishers to furnish certain information to the Government; registration is not a requirement. Over 1800 digital news publishers have furnished requisite information to the Government," Thakur said in response to a question in the Lok Sabha.
The rules, which were notified on 25th February 2021 under Information Technology Act, 2000, provide for the Code of Ethics to be followed by publishers of news & current affairs on digital media and publishers of online curated content (OTT Platforms).
Further, a three-level Grievance Redressal Mechanism for time-bound redressal of grievances/complaints relating to the violation of the Code of Ethics by the publishers. The publishers of news and OTT content also have to furnish information to the government besides periodical disclosure of information in the public domain regarding grievance redressal.
In response to another question on measures being taken by the government to tackle fake news, Thakur said that the government has a statutory and institutionalized mechanism in place to tackle fake news for print, television and digital mediums.

For Print Media, the Press Council of India has framed 'Norms of Journalistic Conduct' under the Press Council Act, 1978, For Television, the Programme Code under Section 5 of the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995. For Social Media and Digital News Publishers, the Government has notified Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 under the provision of IT Act, 2000, which inter alia provides for due diligence by intermediaries, including social media intermediaries, and for a Code of Ethics for adherence by digital news publishers.

Further, a Fact Check Unit has been set up under the Press Information Bureau (PIB) of this Ministry in November 2019. This Unit takes cognizance of fake news both suo-motu and by way of queries sent by citizens on its portal or through e-mail and WhatsApp. The Unit responds to the relevant queries with correct information when the same pertains to Central Government or forwards them to States/UTs in other cases.

"PCI has informed that in six such cases punitive action has been taken during January 2020-January 2021. Further, PIB Fact Check Unit has responded to over 25000 actionable queries. Besides, action has been taken against 12 TV channels for telecasting false, defamatory programmes etc. in violation of Rule 6(1)(d) of the Programme Code during the years 2018-2021. Election Commission has informed that during Lok Sabha Election 2019 and all Legislative Assembly Elections held after that, 167 cases of fake news/ misinformation have been reported to Social Media Platforms for removal of content," Thakur said.

Thakur also said that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) through the Information Security Education & Awareness (ISEA) programme created awareness among users highlighting the importance of following the ethics while using the Internet and advising them not to share rumours/fake news.

He also listed down steps taken by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and industry bodies to tackle fake news during the elections. "Ministry of Home Affairs has informed that law enforcement agencies regularly monitor the social media against the misuse of platforms for circulation of misleading information and take legal action against the offender under the relevant acts," he stated.

Read more news about (internet advertising India, internet advertising, advertising India, digital advertising India, media advertising India)

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube