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Discussion Forum on Online Safety Act and Role of Media Activists

The Media Law Forum’s discussion on March 12, 2024, at the Foundation Institute in Colombo addressed critical aspects of the Online Safety Act and the evolving role of social media activists within this legal framework. Prominent legal figures such as RTI Commissioner AAL Jagath Liyana Arachchi, AAL Jayantha Dehiattage, and AAL Prabodha Ratnayake facilitated the event, lending their expertise to the dialogue.

The forum delved into the nuances of the Online Safety Act regulations, particularly examining its ramifications for journalists. Special attention was given to the delicate balance between upholding freedom of speech and expression while complying with the provisions of the new legislation.

During the interactive Q&A segment, social media activists raised pertinent queries concerning the Act’s impact on their activities. Discussions centered on the responsibilities inherent in the use of social media platforms, including posting, sharing, and commenting. Of particular concern was the potential influence of the legislation on the depiction of cartoons and other forms of expression on platforms like Facebook.

Furthermore, participants engaged in vigorous debate regarding the potential misuse of certain clauses within the Act. There was a collective effort to understand and address the challenges posed by these provisions while safeguarding individuals’ rights to express opinions freely.

The forum provided a platform for robust discussion and analysis of the Online Safety Act, highlighting its implications for both journalists and social media activists.



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