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SC slams a section of private news channels for communal tone in news reporting

SC slams a section of private news channels for communal tone in news reporting

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 02 Sep 2021, 03:52 pm

Delhi/IBNS: The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that the news published on web portals and social media platforms have communal colour, and "only listen to powerful voices" and "write anything" against judges or institutions.

Chief Justice NV Ramana expressed these concerns after hearing a batch of petitions including the one filed by Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind seeking directions to the Centre to stop the dissemination of "fake news" related to a religious gathering at the Nizamuddin Markaz last year.

The court named social media platforms - YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and said, "Web portals have no accountability".

Chief Justice NV Ramana questioned the government about the regulatory mechanism for websites and TV channels.

“Everything shown in a section of private news channels bears a communal tone. Ultimately, this country is going to get a bad name. Did you ever attempt to regulate these private channels," the Supreme Court bench said, reported Hindustan Times.

"If you go to YouTube, so much is shown in one minute. You can see so how much fake news there is. Web portals are not governed by anything. There is an attempt to give communal colour to news and that is a problem. Ultimately it brings a bad name to the country," the Chief Justice said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the government, added: "Not only communal but also planted stories. These portals can even put fake news."

"Web portals only listen to powerful voices and write anything against judges, institutions without any accountability. Web portals only worry about powerful men and not judges, institutions or common people. That is our experience," the court said, criticising the news reporting by web portals.

"Forget individuals. Web portals write very badly even against institutions," said the Chief Justice.

Expressing serious concern over fake news on social media platforms and websites, the Supreme Court said "If you go to YouTube, you will find how fake news is freely circulated and anyone can start a channel on YouTube."

The Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind has asked the court to direct the Centre to stop the dissemination of "fake news" related to the gathering at the Markaz Nizamuddin and take strict action against those responsible for it, reported NDTV.