Centre asks social media intermediaries to curb, take down misinformation on COVID-19

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The advisory has also asked them to promote dissemination of authentic information related to Covid-19.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Saturday wrote to all social media intermediaries to initiate awareness campaigns warning users not to circulate or upload any false information or news regarding covid-19.

Such misinformation or fake news is likely to create panic and disturb public order, the advisory said. Social media intermediaries must also take down or disable such content on a priority basis, the Ministry said in its advisory.
Social media intermediaries operational in India have been introducing several measures to curb the menace of fake news and prevent misinformation in India. While Facebook-owned WhatsApp started depicting “forwarded” or multiple forward indicators on messages circulated several times across the internet, Facebook itself has tied up with some independent fact-checkers to let people know that a news or information that has been shared by independent fact auditors might be wrong.

Apart from them, micro messaging application Twitter has also been under a lot of pressure to control the huge influx of unverified news that is circulated on its platform. After criticism, the company said on Thursday it would remove or block from viewing any tweets that could cause harm by spreading any misinformation about Covid-19.
The advisory has also asked them to promote dissemination of authentic information related to Covid-19. Social media intermediaries like Facebook and Instagram have been showing on their platform the links to World Health Organization’s dos and don’ts regarding the virus, and how to contain its spread.