The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has invited comments on a proposed amendment to the rule 3(1)(b)(v) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021.
It affects the obligations of social media and other intermediaries towards publishing information that is regarded as false, untrue or misleading.
Rule 3(1)(b) states intermediaries should make reasonable efforts to not host, display, upload, modify, publish and transmit information that intentionally communicates any misinformation or information which is false, untrue or misleading.
The Press Information Bureau of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s fact check unit will be empowered to identify fake and false information. The government may also designate other agencies as fact-checkers, as necessary.
The move has been criticised as the Ministry of Information Technology has given the responsibility of fact checking to its own agencies and not third-party entities.