India’s internet regulation is striking delicate balance

Content moderation and accountability are paramount for upholding law and order in the digital space. While regulations like the IT Rules, 2021, set guidelines for intermediaries and platforms, they must uphold fundamental rights and due process.

| Updated: 07 February, 2024 7:30 pm IST
TNI Illustration by Aman Rawat

India stands at a crucial juncture in shaping its policies for internet regulation, as articulated by Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar. While the government’s intentions to safeguard digital rights and ensure a fair online environment are commendable, a nuanced and inclusive approach is essential to address the complex challenges faced in the digital realm.

The proposal to address the asymmetry between content creators and monetizers reflects a necessary step towards fairness. However, it must not inadvertently stifle innovation or hinder competition in the Internet sector. Maintaining a level playing field while empowering content creators requires careful consideration and balance.

Similarly, preventing monopolies or duopolies in the internet sector is crucial for fostering diversity and quality of content and services. Clear definitions and transparent mechanisms are needed to identify and regulate such entities, ensuring a pluralistic online environment.

Content moderation and accountability are paramount for upholding law and order in the digital space. While regulations like the IT Rules, 2021, set guidelines for intermediaries and platforms, they must uphold fundamental rights and due process. Collaborative efforts involving all stakeholders are essential to develop fair and effective moderation practices.

Combatting misinformation and disinformation presents a formidable challenge, requiring evidence-based strategies that safeguard freedom of expression. The government’s efforts must avoid censorship or propaganda, instead promoting media literacy and cooperation between civil society, media, and academia.

In navigating these complexities, India must adopt an approach that respects the diversity of perspectives and realities. Internet regulation should not only protect digital rights but also foster innovation and dialogue. By ensuring an inclusive and balanced framework, India can pave the way for a vibrant and responsible digital future.

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