Govt's New Proposal: News Marked As Fake By PIB Should Be Removed From Social Media


Sheetal Bhalerao

Sheetal Bhalerao

Jan 20, 2023


The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that the news identified as fake or false by the Press Information Bureau’s fact check unit needs to be removed from social media platforms in a proposed amendment to the Information Technology Rules 2021.

Govt's New Proposal: News Marked As Fake By PIB Should Be Removed From Social Media

Introduction Of Draft Amendments In IT Rules 2021

Reportedly, the IT ministry has introduced these draft amendments to the IT Rules 2021 on Tuesday due to the fact that it extended the time for public consultation on regulations for online gaming platforms.

As per this recent proposal introduced in the section ‘Due Diligence by Intermediaries and Grievance Redressal Mechanism’ of IT Rules 2021, intermediaries “shall make reasonable” efforts to not “host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit” such information on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. 

Besides this, the intermediaries are also required to do the due diligence for them to enjoy safe harbor provisions of the IT Act 2000.

According to this act, intermediaries enjoy legal immunity from third party content they host.

While giving scenarios in which the content has to be pulled down from social media platforms,  the draft amendment mentions that if it is “identified as fake or false by the fact check unit at the Press Information Bureau of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or other agency authorized by the central government for fact checking or in respect of any business of the central government, by its department in which such business is transacted under the rules of business made under clause (3) of article 77 of the Constitution”.

Far-reaching Effects

It seems that this proposed amendment is significant and could have far-reaching effects, in terms of censorship of news items.

In a statement, the digital rights group Internet Freedom Foundation said, “While we will study these updated amendments further, we are disappointed that significant changes to an ongoing consultation process have been made on the final day when many stakeholders would have submitted their comments,”.

Further adding, “Additionally, this could also severely impact trust in any upcoming public consultations in 2023. Continuing piecemeal amendments as we wait for a ‘Digital India Bill’ without the articulation of clear vision or plan are matters of great concern,”.

Twitter went to court against several of the IT ministry’s blocking orders last year.

Basically, these blocking orders are issued by the ministry for social media intermediaries to suspend an account or withhold content from the platform.

Twitter had said that several of the URLs contained in MeitY’s blocking order contained “political and journalistic” content and that blocking of such information would be a violation of freedom of speech guaranteed to users of the platform, in its petition.


Sheetal Bhalerao
Sheetal Bhalerao
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