There have been 19 cases of newspapers being censured over fake news since April 2018, the union ministry of information and broadcasting told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
In a written response to an unstarred question by IUML MP Abdul Wahab, union I&B minister Anurag Thakur said that in the case of electronic media, action has been taken in 233 cases of violation of the programme code and advertising code since 2017.
The IUML MP had asked whether certain papers and channels were unapologetically running fake news over the last five years and sought details of the number of such reports and subsequent government action. He also asked about the government’s plans to tackle the issue through formulation of a panel or law.
Meanwhile, responding to a similar question about social media by Trinamool Congress MP Jawhar Sircar, the minister said that the government has issued directions for blocking 105 YouTube channels, 45 videos and 32 social media accounts, posts, apps, websites and podcasts since December last year over misinformation.
“Under the provisions of Part-II of IT Rules, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued directions for blocking of 1643 user-generated URLs, including webpages, websites, posts/accounts on social media platforms etc., from 2021 to October, 2022 for access of information by public under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 as per the procedure laid down in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009.”
But what gives the government the power to “block” content online? And which ministry is allowed to take those calls? to find out.
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