In an era marked by social media platform proliferation and digital communication, the Modi
government’s introduction of the Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023 is a critical step
toward creating a complete regulatory framework. With the help of this legislation, the Ministry of
Information and Broadcasting (MIB) will be able to regulate other types of media, including
digital news sources and Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms, in addition to more established ones
like FM radio and TV stations.
Current Regulatory Landscape:
While the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code)
Rules, 2021, administered by the MIB, already regulate OTT and digital news content, there
remains a significant gap in the oversight of social media intermediaries. The proposed
Broadcasting Services Bill acknowledges this void but intentionally excludes social media
intermediaries, as defined by the Information Technology Act of 2000.
Expanding the Scope:
One notable feature of the proposed legislation is that it aims to regulate freelance journalists
and persons who distribute news on internet platforms in addition to established news
companies. The bill highlights the need for persons who use digital media to disseminate news
and current events to follow the established Program and Advertisement Codes. Concerns
about the unchecked dissemination of information and possible exploitation of internet media for
dissident activism are the focus of this inclusion.
Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud has voiced concerns about the growing reliance on social
media platforms owned by private corporations for action related to dissent. He emphasized the
possible risks associated with these unaccountable mega organizations amassing power. In
order to ensure accountability and responsible content dissemination, the Act aims to regulate
these platforms in response to the judiciary’s concerns.
The Unchecked Realm of Social Media:
Social media platforms presently function in a somewhat unregulated atmosphere, raising
worries about the unrestricted spread of information, manipulation, and the possible danger to
democratic processes. The objective of the Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023 is to
tackle these concerns by instituting a regulatory structure that guarantees ethical content
production and distribution.
Trail of Monetary Links:
The Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023 seeks to address two important issues: the
money trail connected to YouTube monetization and the fundraising activities of unregistered
and unaccredited social media channels. These channels function in a financial gray area
because to the existing lack of regulation, with unreported monies frequently avoiding the
attention of Income Tax officials. The resolution aims to improve accountability and
transparency in financial activities related to digital media by plugging this loophole.
Artificial Intelligence and Privacy Concerns:
The law recognizes the difficulties in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) caused by the
unrestricted algorithms employed by the largest tech companies. In particular, the widespread
use of deepfake technology has sparked serious privacy issues. The bill highlights how social
media platforms must have an ethics code in place to discourage unethical usage of AI
In India’s ever-changing media ecosystem, the Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023
appears to be an essential tool for establishing responsibility and order among the complicated
terrain of digital communication. This legislation aims to strike a balance between free speech
and responsible communication in the digital age by addressing unchecked dissent on social
media, the threats posed by artificial intelligence, and exposing the financial web surrounding
YouTube monetization. It also aims to prevent the potential abuse of constitutional bodies and
the establishment of a parallel justice system through media influence.
The Article was originally published in WORLDNEWS