Friday, September 18, 2020
Home Opinions More than that meets the eye: Weeding out fake news

More than that meets the eye: Weeding out fake news

Also Read

Gautham R
Student of law pursuing under-graduation at University Law College, Bangalore with relevant internship experience at High Court Chambers under the guidance of Hon'ble Justice Krishna S Dixit and Office of Advocate General.
 

In wake of the current global crisis, governments across the federal structure have an up-hill task in getting the Covid-19 situation under control. But now having said that, the situation of ‘fake news’ making rounds on the media, social networking sites and cross-platform messaging applications has left the governments with their hands-full. 

Addressing the issue of migrant labourers, the division bench of the Supreme Court categorically mentions in its Order dated 31.03.2020 about the foul hand fake news is playing amidst the crisis. The Apex Court pinned the mass hysteria created amongst the labour class to look for greener pastures, on circulation of fake news on the media and online portals for circulating preposterous news about an extended lock-down (“up-to 90 days”). The turn of events has prompted the Supreme Court to advise the media houses against publishing fake news but to rely on information and guidelines published by the Government on the situation from time to time.

It was widely reported after that the migrant labourers’ situation at the borders of Delhi could be traced back to misinformation which was circulated by certain bigots undermining and disdaining the efforts of the Government in dealing with this unprecedented situation. In woke of such an unimaginable and untenable situation, it is imperative that the Government leaves no stones unturned in providing assistance to the helpless migrants. Even the apex institute for medical research, Indian Council for Medical Research (“ICMR”), was not spared from fake news making rounds against it. From being accused of overpaying for the test kits to failure in its part to co-ordinate with the Centre.

The prevalence of fake news related to the Covid-19 situation is used by countries to justify new misinformation legislation, which could be true with India as well. The Government is mulling to bring changes to the current legal framework by proposing an amendment to the Information Technology Intermediary Guidelines Rules, 2011. The proposal to enact the Information Technology Intermediary Guidelines (Amendment) Rules, 2018 is in the pipeline, vehemently in pursuit to take down fake news. The proposed amendment calls for steeper penalty on web portals and phone application which fail to comply with the   proposed framework. The Government has been pursuing specific provisions under the Information Technology Act, 2000, which in the long run could be a better solution, considering that provisions under Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Indian Penal Code have proved to be inadequate to deal with the propagandas and misinformation being circulated on electronic medium.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (“MoEIT”) is making a sincere effort by issuing an advisory to bring in line all the social media platforms from unfurling false information, and putting the onus on the intermediaries to remove any fake news/ misinformation which are likely to cause panic among the public. Temporary efforts such as introducing “Saathi Chatbot”, keeping the citizens updated with the latest news and myth-busters relating to Covid-19 might not be enough in the long run to keep the citizens away from misinformation.

Moving beyond the realms of understanding fake news from the perspectives of the pandemic, we must bear in mind its ability to polarise opinions amongst the population, on issues such as policy making, elections, genocide tailored to benefit certain malignant influencers in the society. The Government of India, must take cues from Singapore in enacting a specific piece of legislation to regulate the freedom of press from spurring fake news and false alarms and while doing so it is cardinal to not overlook the rights concerning speech and expression, and to carry on the business, which are pedestal to democracy. 

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

Gautham R
Student of law pursuing under-graduation at University Law College, Bangalore with relevant internship experience at High Court Chambers under the guidance of Hon'ble Justice Krishna S Dixit and Office of Advocate General.

Latest News

Mirror of self-discovery in pandemic

This year has been really horrific. Obnoxious amount of sadness, sickness and death. Nature forced us to confront ourselves in a lot many ways. But hope prevails. The waves of faith keep crashing the beach.

Vote Trump 2020: Why an Indian prefers Donald Trump to be re-elected as America’s president

Here is why Democrats especially the combination of Biden-Kamala Harris is just the kind of duo India would not like to have in the White House.

Mughals are NOT Indians

In this article we analyse whether Mughals were Indians or invaders who stayed because of the vast wealth and resources and also the power it gave them in the Islamic world.

Taking charge of social media interactions – a guide for the naïve right

In this section, we will try to understand what sources of information can be used to gather the ammunition we need for our social media battles.

3 ways you can serve India without changing your way of life

Although we held the nation high in our lives, most of us often fail to participate in the interests of our great nation. The main problem we here face is not being able to find a way that doesn't ask for a sacrifice. You spend your evenings wondering about the solution that allows you to take some action for the betterment of your country without losing your way of life.

Happy integration day “dear Hyderabad”

One of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel's many obligations on India is- bringing Hyderabad in India thereby saving Hydearabadi Hindus from the atrocities of the then ruler.

Recently Popular

5 Cases where True Indology exposed Audrey Truschke

Her claims have been busted, but she continues to peddle her agenda

Daredevil of Indian Army: Para SF Major Mohit Sharma’s who became Iftikaar Bhatt to kill terrorists

Such brave souls of Bharat Mata who knows every minute of their life may become the last minute.

पोषण अभियान: सही पोषण – देश रोशन

भारत सरकार द्वारा कुपोषण को दूर करने के लिए जीवनचक्र एप्रोच अपनाकर चरणबद्ध ढंग से पोषण अभियान चलाया जा रहा है, भारत...

Mughals are NOT Indians

In this article we analyse whether Mughals were Indians or invaders who stayed because of the vast wealth and resources and also the power it gave them in the Islamic world.

To China’s ignominy: The hope of an adamantine India

India must maintain its obdurate stance against China. This should, so far as ideals go, set a precedent for future governments.
Advertisements