Content flagged 'fake' by government will have to be removed under new IT rules
The online gaming regulation proposes a self-regulatory mechanism, mandatory verification of players and physical Indian addresses for online gaming companies.
Published: 19th January 2023 07:06 AM | Last Updated: 19th January 2023 07:06 AM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: The government’s proposed amendment to the IT Rules, 2021, which mandates to take down of any content from social media that has been identified as fake by the government, has not gone down well with the experts. They said the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 impinge on fundamental rights to speech and expression of news publishers.
Internet India Foundation, which conducts advocacy on digital rights and liberties, said this move will heavily impact the freedom of speech, expression and information online and will make the government the final arbiter of what news may be published and what must be removed. Editor Guild of India is of the view that giving authority to PIB to determine the veracity of news reports and directing online intermediaries and social media platforms to take down content is akin to censorship.
“Now, MeitY has proposed amendments to the IT Rules 2021, which may require intermediaries to block access to social media posts and even news stories themselves, if the PIB terms them as 'fake' or 'false'. This kind of control is prone to misuse and may significantly accelerate the trend towards censorship of the Indian internet,” said Internet India Foundation in a statement.
The ministry inserted this change while deliberating the framework of online gaming in India. The online gaming regulation, released by the minister on 2 January 2023, proposes a self-regulatory mechanism, mandatory verification of players and physical Indian addresses for online gaming companies.