Government solicits feedback on proposed modification to delete content identified by PIB as false

Thursday, the government solicited public feedback on a potential adjustment to the new IT guidelines regarding the removal of content flagged by its media arm PIB as incorrect or misleading.

On Wednesday, the Editors Guild of India urged the government to ‘expunge’ the proposed amendment to the IT Rules and requested social media companies to remove news stories considered “false” by the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar stated that the proposed revisions to the IT Rules are in accordance with the government’s commitment to an accessible, trustworthy, and accountable internet.

“We have distributed modifications for stakeholder consultation. As is the government’s practise, these amendments will be subject to open consultations – to reflect, discuss, and deliberate on these amendments or any other such effective means by which we can prevent misinformation / patently false information from being circulated on the Internet by State/Non-State actors, said Chandrasekhar. The comment deadline for the draught is January 25.

Tuesday, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) published a revision to the draught Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 that it had previously made available for public comment.

Added a short remark to the due diligence section on the removal of content identified as fraudulent, fake, or deceptive by the PIB or any government-authorized body while the consultation is substantially ongoing for the formulation of rules for online gambling.

Under the proposed amendment, intermediaries’ due diligence shall include efforts to not upload, publish, transmit, or share information identified as fake or false by the Fact Check Unit of the Press Information Bureau, which takes cognizance of fake information both suo motu and in response to queries sent by citizens on its portal or via e-mail or WhatsApp and responds with correct information when the same pertains to the government.

“The determination of fake news cannot be solely in the hands of the government and will result in press censorship,” the Guild said in a statement expressing “deep concern” over the proposed amendment to the Information Technology (IT) Rules, stating that the determination of fake news cannot be in the hands of the government alone.

Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), a non-profit focused on digital rights, stated that the introduction of a new category for the takedown of social media and news media content will have a significant impact on the freedom of speech, expression, and information online, and will make the federal government the final arbiter of what news may be published and what must be removed.

“Such improvisation in consultation processes undermines public confidence in the process at a time when the Union Government withholds consultation responses from the public sphere.” “As we await a ‘Digital India Bill’ for which no clear, specific, and detailed vision has been articulated, the fragmentary nature of consultation processes is another cause for concern,” stated IFF.


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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