MeitY Officials To Lead Government News Fact-Check Unit: Report

The three-member body is expected to comprise of two officials from the IT ministry (MeitY)
Fake News
Fake News

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) officials will reportedly lead the fact-checking team of the government. As per a report, the centre is likely to bring together this team to verify information related to the government, especially which is published on social media and the internet. 

According to a report in the Economic Times, the three-member body is expected to comprise of two officials from the IT ministry. The third member, however, is expected to have expertise in law, social media or public policy. 

“The ministry-led body will coordinate with other departments of the government on the fact-check,” the publication quoted a source as saying. 

If the body, lead by MeitY officials gets appointed as per the report, in that case, the Press Information Bureau (PIB)’s job of fact-checking and debunking fake news will slowly go to this body. Before these reports, PIB was the preferred agency, knowing for carrying out such fact-checking exercise. 

The report also adds that the proposed MeitY-led fact-checking body is expected to just verify news and fact-based information. It will reportedly not be empowered to screen or assess opinions that are presented by the publications. 

Since the move has invited criticism from stakeholders as well, the MeitY-led three-member body will also reportedly be required to publicly specify the reason behind any take-down orders that it issues. However, a final decision on the powers to be granted to this body is yet to be known. 

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