In early November 2020, the Union Government passed a notification stating that news and current affairs content on online platforms would be brought under the jurisdiction and control of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B ministry). This means that the I&B ministry will moderate content on intermediaries, such as social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter), blogging platforms, video hosting platforms (YouTube). At the time, this raised concerns within civil society.
This seems like a bad omen for the freedom of speech, expression and the open internet. However, while those concerns may be justified, there has been little talk around the nuts and bolts of what this change might have in store for content on the internet. There is an ambiguous line between regulation and over-regulation in this space, and no policy solution is going to send everyone home happy. Keeping that in mind, it is worth looking at some novel measures the I&B ministry may consider and how they might play out.
You can read the full piece in Deccan Herald. Views are personal.
This article was written by Nirali Trivedi, student of the GCPP (Tech and Policy) Programme and Rohan Seth, policy analyst, technology.