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Quick take: India’s new news censorship rule is undemocratic

The Indian government has given its press bureau the power to determine the ‘truth’ and impose censorship on news on social media

The traditional function of news is calling truth to power: it’s almost always the official version versus the news-reported version. It’s how someone wants to portray what is happening versus how it actually is. The media is supposed to report the inconvenient truth. This is most important in a state of conflict, whether internal or external: when soldiers cross a border and kill yours, both sides have their versions of events. When the police opens fire on a protest, there are multiple versions of what happened.

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With the latest changes to the IT Rules, the Indian government has given India’s Press Information Bureau the power to determine what the truth is, and order social media platforms to censor news organisations. The reach of a news story online is dependent on social media platforms. If you don’t see a link, what will you click on?

Just over a year before national elections, this power being given to PIB is undemocratic.

This post is released under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license. Please feel free to republish on your site, with attribution and a link. Adaptation and rewriting, though allowed, should be true to the original.

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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