Bid to restrain online media draws flakThe Online Media Operation Directive-2016 that the government made public on Sunday has been criticised for being draconian.
The Online Media Operation Directive-2016 that the government made public on Sunday has been criticised for being draconian. Experts have voiced their worries that the government may be trying to curb press freedom and weaken the independence of media.
Media experts and organisations working for the welfare of journalists flayed the move aimed at regulating the online media. The directive states that the government can shut down online media that are not registered with the authorities, that have failed to renew their registration within a specified deadline or those operating illegally. Any online site that runs news without official sources and “misleading content can be shut down”.
Online media are required to begin their registration process within 60 days of the rules coming into effect. Online sites will have to display on their home page the icon of web sites from which information has been taken or republished. They will also have to maintain an archive of materials published by them for at least six months.