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Indian govt to hold separate consultation to discuss proposed amendment on fake news

Consultation on proposed amendment to IT Rules giving Press Information Bureau powers to flag fake news on social media has been postponed to Feb 2023

The plan to equip the Press Information Bureau (PIB) with powers to flag fake news on social media has been deferred by the Indian government, according to several news reports. There will now be a separate consultation for stakeholders in February 2023, according to a statement by Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar. The minister reasoned that the consultation was supposed to be held on January 24, 2022 but was postponed given the backlog of consultations pending at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), The New Indian Express reported. The deadline* to submit comments on the proposed amendment has been extended to February 20, 2023, in response to requests received from stakeholders, according to a notification uploaded by MeitY. What is the proposed amendment: The amendment added to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, stated that platforms will not be allowed to host information fact-checked to be “fake” or “false” by the PIB which falls under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. https://twitter.com/TheVikasLohchab/status/1617794322908475394 Why it matters: The postponement is notable as it seems like a reaction to the extent of backlash faced by the government over the proposed amendment. The outrage has been swift and unrelenting ever since the amendment was announced quietly by the MeitY. It is a good sign that the government will hold a consultation on the amendment given its far-reaching implications. Editors Guild of India demand removal: A letter sent by the Editors Guild…

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