Probe dominance of online advertising platforms, says report on the future of digital news

A report examining the future of news in India has recommended that the Competition Commission of India investigate the dominance of online advertising platforms.

The report, prepared by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, stated, “The advertisement-revenue model for digital news may be displaying indications of market failure. To orient the market for digital news towards the public good, the role and practices of online advertising platforms must be systematically studied by a specialised authority.”

The report also favoured the enactment of “light-touch measures” to address misinformation. “The entire chain of misinformation needs to be addressed in order to effectively tackle the crisis of misinformation. The report suggests a range of legislative, co-regulatory and voluntary measures, which provide an integrated framework to prevent the spread of misinformation and enhance reader literacy.”

Calling for the imposition of “appropriate responsibilities” on digital news entities, the report stated, “The legal vacuum for digital news needs to be filled in a manner, which is sensitive to the nuances of online discourse. The report recommends granting limited powers to the Press Council of India, in conjunction with a voluntary registration procedure and the development of a brief, accessible code of conduct as a mechanism for the imposition of editorial responsibility.”

“The role of online platforms in the distribution of news should be addressed through targeted interventions based on the design aspects of such platforms,” the report added.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 1:11:16 AM |

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