MxMIndia is now under the jurisdiction of the government

11 Nov,2020


By A Correspondent


The headline was clickbaity. So please ignore it. It’s not just MxMIndia, but all news, current affairs, films and audio-visual content will be under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India.


We don’t know what it will actually mean. We don’t know what the jurisdiction of the government will be. We don’t know if the PRB Act will also apply to news and current affairs websites. We don’t know if apps or platforms like InShorts and Daily Hunt will also be held liable. We also don’t know if platforms like Google News will also now be monitored closely. We don’t know if it will impact ownership rules of news/current affairs offerings on the Web… especially foreign ownership. And what about sites that are headquartered abroad. Uff. We don’t know so many things.


There have been attempts to set up self-regulatory bodies by OTT players and there exist some associations of digital publishers. There is also the internet and mobile association (IAMAI).


But we now have a situation where all these are under government jurisdiction. As we said, we need to get the interpretation.


Prima facie, it may appear harmless.


It may have been necessitated by certain content that has caught the attention of the ministry, Parliamentarians and the Courts.


So let’s wait and hear it from the minister.


Meanwhile, we must add here, that the law of the land continues to govern online content. One can still take an online content maker to Court if you believe it has harmed you/your reputation etc. For instance, there’s this online portal that was taken to Court by the close relative of a senior political functionary.


And it’s not that an online media entity owner can’t be arnabed (err arrested indefinitely) if it does something wrong.



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