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Government initiates deep fake crackdown, urges social media platforms to adhere to IT Rules

The govt stated, “The content not permitted under the IT Rules, in particular those listed under Rule 3(1)(b), must be clearly communicated to the users in clear and precise language."

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued a formal advisory urging all intermediaries to adhere to existing IT rules. The advisory specifically addresses concerns related to the proliferation of misinformation facilitated by AI, particularly in the form of deep fakes, as highlighted in a government press release.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar emphasized that the advisory, which outlines procedures to prevent users from violating prohibited content as per Rule 3(1)(b), serves as a crucial directive. 

He cautioned that legal consequences would be taken in the event of observed or reported violations. Chandrasekhar also stated that MeitY would closely monitor intermediary compliance in the upcoming weeks, signaling a potential amendment to IT Rules or the law if deemed necessary.

The advisory underscores the importance of clearly communicating content restrictions outlined in IT rules to users. It specifies that content not permitted under Rule 3(1)(b), in particular, must be explicitly communicated to users in clear and precise language, including through terms of service and user agreements. 

Additionally, the advisory stresses the need to inform users about these restrictions at the time of initial registration and through regular reminders, particularly during each login and when uploading or sharing information on the platform.

Rule 3(1)(b) mandates intermediaries to convey their rules, regulations, privacy policies, and user agreements in the user's preferred language.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar further urged all intermediaries to exercise due diligence in swiftly removing misinformation content from their platforms. He underscored that platforms have been explicitly notified about the legal ramifications associated with any violations under the IT rules.

IT Rule 3(1)(b)(v) explicitly prohibits the dissemination of misinformation. It stipulates that intermediaries must make reasonable efforts to avoid displaying, uploading, modifying, publishing, transmitting, storing, updating, or sharing any information that infringes on patent, trademark, copyright, or other proprietary rights, or impersonates another person.

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