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5 Things that Are Wrong With India’s Proposal to ‘Curb Misinformation’ Online

Anything ‘fact checked’ as “fake” by the government’s own press bureau must be taken down by platforms, and this is bad

Update on 15/3/23 at 4:25 pm: The Indian government will "soon" come out with rules that empower its press arm to flag "inaccurate and fake news" about government authorities, Economic Times reports. Platforms that don't comply with the Press Information Bureau's notice and don't take down flagged content may lose the safe harbour protections they currently enjoy. In that event, disputes on misinformation will be directly fought between the aggrieved person and the platform in the courts, said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, to Economic Times. "Aggrieved parties can take the platform to court classifying it as a publisher of content," Economic Times adds. Original story on 18/1/23 at 11:21 am: What's the news?: Platforms will not be allowed to host information fact-checked to be "fake" or "false" by the Indian government's Press Information Bureau (PIB) according to a proposal released by the IT Ministry on Tuesday. Other agencies may also be authorised by the Indian government to fact-check information online. What does this mean?: To comply with India's platform regulation laws, platforms may have to proactively take down any information, including news, "fact-checked" to be "fake" by the Indian government's agencies. Where were these proposals introduced?: The proposal was quietly included in India's IT Rules as the government extended the public consultation deadline for the online gaming rules from January 17th to 25th. Feedback can be submitted here. To jog your memory: the government already proposed changes to these platform regulation rules to regulate the online gaming sector earlier this…

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