Dholpur admin bans unregistered news channels, 'journalistic activities' on social media

In view of possibility of circulation of fake news amid coronavirus pandemic, Dholpur district administration banned news channels and similar "journalistic activities" on social media platforms which were running without being registered with competent regulatory authorities.

District Collector RK Jaiswal, who issued the order on May 6, said that there are many unauthorised social media news channels which are being run without registration from authorities.

"They have no permission from competent authority to run such news channel or journalistic activities on social media platforms, so a preemptive action was taken against such unauthorised channels," the collector said.

He said that it does not affect the mainstream media.

In the order, the collector has banned unauthorised news channel or similar journalistic activities on social medial platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, Telegram etc. till further orders.

"Using social media platforms as a news channel comes under journalist activities, so it is mandatory to obtain permission from the commissioner- Information and Public Relations, Government of Rajasthan and from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India," he said.

In Dholpur, he said, no social media news channel possesses permission from regulatory bodies, so they are working in an unauthorised manner.

"In the view of possibility of circulation of fake and unverified news on social media, it was necessary to put the ban on unauthorised channels or journalistic activities on social media," he said.

He said that action will be taken under section 188 and 505 (1) of the Indian Penal Code and section 1 and 2 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 in violation of the order and he also made a reference to a Supreme Court judgment about this.