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India Moves to Ban ‘Fake’ News in Latest Tech Crackdown

Once information is ruled as fake, social media platforms will have to ensure users do not publish or share it, the draft legislation proposes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is looking to rein in what is shared on social media platforms. Photo: Reuters


The Indian government is planning to stop social media firms hosting ‘news’ or information that New Delhi rules as fake.

This is the latest measure by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, revealed in a draft proposal of the country’s new IT rules this week, as it tries to rein in big tech.

Any information identified as “fake or false” by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), or by any other agency authorised for fact-checking by the government or “by its department in which such business is transacted”, would be prohibited under the draft.


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Once information was identified as fake, social media platforms or other “online intermediaries” would have to “make reasonable efforts” to ensure users do not “host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share” such information, it added.

In October, the government announced a panel would be set up to hear complaints from users regarding content moderation decisions of social media firms, which are already required to appoint in-house grievance redressal officers and executives to co-ordinate with law enforcement officials.

The government has also repeatedly been involved in tussles with various platforms when they failed to heed demands that certain content or accounts be taken down for allegedly spreading misinformation.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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