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New digital media rules to bring level playing field: Parliamentary panel

The panel asked MIB to launch an awareness campaign

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KOLKATA: The parliamentary standing committee on IT has said that the new digital media rules under the IT Act will bring a level playing field for all media categories. However, the panel headed by Shashi Tharoor also mentioned that more initiatives are required, according to media reports.

The parliamentary panel also asked the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) to launch an awareness campaign about its new rules for social media intermediaries, OTT and digital news platforms.

While maintaining a robust oversight mechanism, the panel hoped that the ministry would implement the rules with due regard to the importance of promoting creativity and protecting freedom of expression.

The government laid down new rules for social media platforms, digital media, OTT platforms on 25 February. In a gazette notification, it spoke of a three-tier oversight mechanism for online content.

In light of this, a PIL has been moved before the Delhi high court challenging the new rules under the Information Technology Act to regulate internet intermediaries, over-the-top (OTT) platforms and digital news media. The petition has been filed by the Foundation of Independent Journalism which publishes The Wire. A similar plea by another petitioner was filed in the Kerala high court. The courts have issued notices to the Centre in this regard. 

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