Govt asks media outlets and social media platforms to refrain from publishing false, manipulated content related to Ram Temple event

Last Updated: Jan 20, 2024

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Government has asked media outlets and social media platforms to refrain from publishing false, manipulated content related to Ram Temple event. In an advisory, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said, 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 Ministry drew attention to the provisions of the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995.  According to the Programme Code, no programme should be carried in the cable service which contains attack on religions or communities, or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes; contains anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half truths and is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote anti-national attitudes.

It also drew attention to 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. As per the norms, the Press shall eschew publication of inaccurate, baseless, graceless, misleading or distorted material.

It is the duty of the newspaper to ensure that the tone, spirit and language of a write up is not objectionable, provocative, against the unity and integrity of the country, spirit of the constitution, seditious and inflammatory in nature or designed to promote communal disharmony. Newspapers shall, as a matter of self-regulation, exercise due restraint and caution in presenting any news, comment or information which is likely to jeopardise, endanger or harm the paramount interests of the State and society, or the rights of individuals with respect to which reasonable restrictions may be imposed by law on the right to freedom of speech and expression under clause (2) of Article 19 of the Constitution of India.

The Ministry said, newspapers, private satellite TV channels and publishers of news and current affairs on digital media should refrain from publishing or telecasting any content that may be false or manipulated or has the potential to disturb communal harmony or public order in the country.

The Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha at Ayodhya will be celebrated on Monday across India.

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