Digital media is format agnostic, has wider reach to influence says govt
New Delhi, Sep 01: The government has said that the digital media has a wider reach and can threaten domestic rights. The digital media content is public communication and can be rapidly shared with several people.
It is more permanent in nature when compared to TV news and has an ability to spread disinformation that can pose a threat to domestic rights. The government made the submission in an affidavit in the Delhi High Court while defending the Information Technology Rules 2021. The rules were challenged by several digital media platforms who said that the new rules are unconstitutional and amount to overreach by the executive.
The government said while communications such as emails are private communications, publishing content on social media, digital news portals and OTT platforms is essentially public communication.
Due to transcontinental nature of digital news, the particular media can be used as a tool for information campaigns by the state and non-state actors to influence opinion, the affidavit also read.
"Therefore, it is submitted that an argument which claims that the scope of the IT Act includes content published by ordinary users, but does not include content published by well-organised commercially oriented news publishers or OTT platforms may not be legally tenable," the affidavit further stated.
It also said that digital media was format agnostic and its reach was wider than traditional media as it can be accessed by both the literate as well as the illiterate.