News Broadcasting Association (NBA) President and India TV Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Rajat Sharma has written a letter to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar over new social media guidelines for news channels and digital platforms. He has requested Javadekar to provide some relaxation in the rules to ensure hassle-free operations.
He said that parameters are already in place for news channels and their digital platforms. He said that news channels follow self-regulatory guidelines. Channels are following the guidelines under the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) since 2008, therefore, “there is no need of new rules”.
His letters came amid a raging tug of war between the government and social media platforms over new IT rules. The government had in February issued new guidelines for social media platforms and asked them to implement the new rules by May 25.
Earlier on Wednesday, the government staunchly defended its new digital rules, saying the requirement of messaging platforms like WhatsApp to disclose origin of flagged messages does not violate privacy, and went on to seek a compliance report from large social media firms. The new rules require large social media platforms — defined as those with over 50 lakh users in the country — to follow additional due diligence, including appointment of chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer.
Non-compliance with rules would result in these platforms losing their intermediary status that provides them immunity from liabilities over any third-party data hosted by them. In other words, they could be liable for criminal action in case of complaints.