A self-regulatory network dedicated to non-governmental news
The government plans to build a network of online content fact-checkers and is asking several social media giants to submit their input on building the network, The Indian Express has learned. The government also asked companies to provide suggestions on the criteria they should follow to determine who a “trustworthy” fact-checker is.
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The network acts as a self-regulatory body, flagging “misinformation” on the internet that has nothing to do with government. Those companies were asked to submit their views at a closed-door meeting held at the Ministry of Electronics, Information and Communication within days. The meeting was convened to discuss the ministry’s recent proposal to regulate fake news on the internet.
Representatives of companies such as Meta, Alphabet, Snap, Sharechat and Telegram attended the meeting chaired by Minister of Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
“Today’s Digital India Dialogue – on promoting a safe and trustworthy internet with a focus on trustworthy fact-checkers to combat deepfakes, misinformation, disinformation and more,” Chandrasekhar tweeted after the meeting.
Officials at the conference suggested that fact-checking networks should collate a list of all the links they deem to be fake news and share it regularly with the government. Governments issue orders to block those links. Governments are known to embrace this idea.
Sources at the meeting said officials urged the government that once the network of fact-checkers was determined, it would be best to publish a methodology on how to classify content as misinformation. .
The ministry, Alphabet and Meta did not respond to requests for comment.
Note that once this network is established, it will only have agencies that flag misinformation that have nothing to do with the government. Following a proposal made last month in the 2021 amendments to the Information Technology Regulations, it is the Press Information Office’s fact-checking unit to flag “misinformation” related to the Center.
The Ministry of Electronics, Information and Communication said that news identified as “fake” by the PIB (a node agency of the Center for Sharing News Updates) FacebookYouTube, Twitter.
The “fake” news proposal states that content marked as misleading by “other agencies authorized by the government for fact-checking” or “in relation to the Center’s business” will not be allowed in online intermediaries. increase.
This requirement has been added below the due diligence requirements that must be followed in order to enjoy a safe harbor, which is legal immunity from third-party content hosted by intermediaries. It allows access to services on the Internet, and the proposed rule change would allow not only social media platforms, but also Internet service providers and web hosting providers (all now classified as intermediaries) to It means that you must follow the rules if you are notified. in this provision.
The proposal was met by a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society organizations and media bodies such as India’s Editors’ Guild, saying that “fake news decisions cannot be left in the hands of governments alone and, as a result, the press”.
last month, Indian Express reported on a case where PIB flagged ‘fake news’ but it turned out to be false.
© Indian Express (P) Ltd