Social media not solely to blame for fake news: I&B minister Rathore

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Social media not solely to blame for fake news: I&B minister Rathore

Rathore asks channels to verify the news before broadcasting or publishing it on the public domain. 

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) was in news for making some controversial decision when Smriti Irani was at the helm of affairs.

Responding to the recent controversy of Fake News, Information and Broadcasting minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said that the challenge of misinformation cannot be blamed solely on the social media.

"Media needs to regulate itself. The government is not in favour of regulating media. There are more than 50,000 portals online. People and media organisations need to regulate themselves," said Union Information and Broadcasting minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

Rathore asks channels to verify the news before broadcasting or publishing it on the public domain.

The most prominent among them included the controversy over "guidelines to regulate fake news", which caused widespread outrage among media organisations and were withdrawn after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention.

In a major embarrassment for the ministry, the PMO had on April 3 ordered it to withdraw a press release on fake news, holding that the decision on what constitutes fake news should be left to press bodies.

Announcing measures to check fake news, the ministry had said that a journalist's accreditation could be permanently cancelled if the scribe is found generating or propagating fake news.

The ministry had come in for criticism in April after it issued an order for constitution of a committee to frame rules to regulate news portals and media websites.

More than 100 journalists and media professionals had then written to Irani, saying additional regulations will open up the possibility of widespread abuse and attempts to suppress political dissent by the government.

A row had erupted after news website The Wire quoted Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash as saying that the public broadcaster had to pay staff salary for January and February out of its contingency funds as the ministry had not released the funds.

Also read: Smriti Irani's controversial reign at I&B ministry

Also read: Fake news order: What Smriti Irani did not learn from Rajiv Gandhi, Vasundhara Raje