afaqs! news bureau

INS urges MeitY to withdraw new rules on fact-checking

According to new rules, the govt-body can frame a fact-checking unit, which will have the power to determine what is fake, with respect to the government.

The Indian Newspaper Society(INS) released a statement in which it stated that they urged the centre to withdraw the IT Amendment Rules 2023 issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. It has also requested govt to hold consultations with stakeholders such as media organisations and press bodies before releasing any notification having serious implications for the media and its credibility.

In the statement, it mentions,“It said in the statement, The Indian Newspaper Society is constrained to state that the new rules would have the effect of the Government or its designated agency enjoying absolute power to determine what is fake or not, in respect of its own work, and order it to be taken down. Such power is seen to be arbitrary, as it is exercised without hearing the parties, and thus a violation of all principles of natural justice and has the effect of the complainant acting as the Judge."

According to the new IT amendment rules, the Ministry will enjoy the power to constitute a fact-checking unit, which will have sweeping powers to determine what is fake or false or misleading, with respect to any business of central government. With this amendment, they will have the power to issue instructions to intermediaries, including social media platforms, Internet Service Providers, and other service providers, to not host such content and take out the content if it has been published.

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