I&B Ministry issues advisory to media and social media platforms ahead of Ram temple consecration ceremony

Ahead of the Ram Temple consecration ceremony in Ayodhya, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry has asked newspapers, television channels and digital news publishers to refrain from publishing or telecasting any content that may be false, manipulated or has the potential to disturb communal harmony or public order in the country. In an advisory, the Ministry said that as part of their due diligence obligations, the social media platforms should make “reasonable efforts” to not host, display or publish such content.

This comes after the Ministry observed that certain fake and unverified messages are being spread, especially on social media.

The advisory pointed to the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995, and Norms of Journalistic Conduct laid down by the Press Council of India under the Press Council Act, 1978, a reference to which has also been made in the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha at Ayodhya will be celebrated on January 22, 2024 across India. It is observed that certain unverified, provocative and fake messages are being spread, especially on social media, which can disturb communal harmony and public order,” the advisory noted.

“Newspapers, private satellite TV channels and publishers of news and current affairs on digital media are advised to refrain from publishing/telecasting any content that may be false or manipulated or has the potential to disturb communal harmony or public order in the country. Further, as part of their due diligence obligations, the social media platforms are advised to make reasonable efforts to not host, display or publish information of the nature mentioned above,” the advisory added. I

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