New Govt rules can seriously undermine media freedom: Editors Guild
The Editors Guild of India noted that provisions in the "new rules could place unreasonable restrictions on digital news media".
The Editors Guild of India believes that the new guidelines announced by the government on February 25 can seriously undermine media freedom in the country.
The Centre had notified new guidelines for intermediaries in 'soft touch oversight' rules while asserting that these were needed to hold social media and other companies accountable for misuse and abuse.
However, pointing out flaws in the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, the Editors Guild noted that the new law empowers the Centre to "block, delete or modify published news anywhere in the country without any judicial oversight".
It further said that provisions in the "new rules could place unreasonable restrictions on digital news media".
The media body lamented that the Centre did not consult the stakeholders before notifying these far-reaching rules.
Calling upon the government to suspend the guidelines and hold discussions with stakeholders, the Editors Guild said that the "Union government cannot overwhelm India's Constitutional safeguards for a free media in the name of reining in an unfettered social media".