The Karnataka government’s choice to arrange a ‘fact-checking’ unit to observe ‘pretend information’ on social media – together with reviews posted by media organisations – has been red-flagged by the Editors Guild of India. On Sunday the EGI issued an announcement referring to its petition difficult amendments to the IT Rules (2023) within the Bombay High Court and warned in opposition to a “fact-checking unit… under the executive (with) sole authority to determine what is fake or not, and powers to order content take-down”.
The EGI admitted “there is a problem of misinformation and fake news, especially in the online space” however stated efforts to establish and take away such content material needed to be led by “independent bodies that are not under the sole purview of the government, lest they become tools to clamp down on voices of dissent”.
“Any monitoring framework should follow principles of natural justice, including journalists and media bodies, so that press freedom is not tampered with,” the EGI assertion stated.
“The Guild urges the Karnataka government to clearly specify the scope of and powers of the proposed fact-checking unit, as well as the governing mechanism under which it will operate,” the EGI added, calling for a “consultation exercise with press organisations” to develop this framework.
EGI notes with concern, some elements of Karnataka govt’s choice to arrange a ‘fact-checking unit’ to observe ‘pretend information’. We urge all govts to make sure such items are unbiased of govt management and their scope and powers are specified in order to not trample upon press freedom pic.twitter.com/7G9pdOweFQ
— Editors Guild of India (@IndEditorsGuild) August 27, 2023
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s government final week cleared the formation of a ‘fact-checking unit’ that his workplace declared “essential as (fake news) it is responsible for the weakening of democracy and polarisation in society”.
The state’s IT Minister Priyank Kharge just lately stated “posts and reports tagged ‘fake’ will be taken down and, if required, the government can also take penal measures”.
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According to the modification to the IT Rules notified by the centre earlier this yr, governments can arrange ‘fact-checking’ items to flag content material it believes is wrong, malicious or each, and social media platforms internet hosting such content material are required to take away them on receipt of a discover.