Content deemed ‘fake’ by the government may be banned from social media

The central government is considering not allowing the uploading of any information on social media that it considers to be false. This is included in the draft of the new IT rules published this week. This can be included in the measures taken by the government to rein in big tech companies.

According to a Reuters report, any information deemed ‘false’ or ‘untrue’ by the Press Information Office (PIB) or any agency authorized to verify facts on behalf of the government or any of its departments, will be removed from the draft. will be prohibited under Social media platforms or other online intermediaries will make reasonable efforts to prevent users from uploading, changing, retaining or posting such information. In October last year, the government announced the creation of a panel to hear user complaints about content moderation decisions by social media companies.

Social media companies should have Complaint Remediation Officers for such complaints. There have also been several disputes between social media platforms and the government over the removal of content or accounts that allegedly spread misinformation. Last month, the government asked video streaming platform YouTube to block three channels that spread fake news and make false claims. The Fact Check Unit of the Press Information Office (PIB) told these three channels to spread false news related to government institutions.

YouTube was asked to remove Aaj Tak Live, News Headlines and Sarkari Updates. Along with this, it was clarified that Aaj Tak Live does not have any association with India Today Group. These channels used thumbnails of TV news channels and images of their presenters to mislead people and spread fake news. The GDP handle Fact Check tweeted: “A YouTube channel ‘News Headlines’ is spreading fake news against the Prime Minister, the Supreme Court, the country’s Chief Justice and the Electoral Commission.” This YouTube channel was accused of spreading fake news about “conducting elections through ballot papers following the order of the Chief Justice of the country” and re-election of 131 seats in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

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