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Karnataka govt’s decision to set up fact-checking unit concerning: Editors Guild of India


Synopsis As per Karnataka’s IT and biotechnology minister Priyank Kharge, “posts and reports that are tagged as fake by the fact-checking unit will be taken down,” and “if required, the government can also take penal measures under relevant provisions of the IPC. ” ETtech The Editors Guild of India (EGI) on Sunday “noted with concern some aspects of the Karnataka government ’s decision to set up a fact-checking unit. ” The EGI is a non-profit organisation of news editors in the country.

“The Editors Guild of India notes with concern, some aspects of the recent decision of the Karnataka state government to set up a ‘fact-checking unit’ to monitor ‘fake news’ on social media platforms,” an EGI statement said. As per Karnataka’s IT and biotechnology minister Priyank Kharge , “posts and reports that are tagged as fake by the fact-checking unit will be taken down,” and “if required, the government can also take penal measures under relevant provisions of the IPC. ” The Guild has already filed a petition in the Bombay High Court, challenging the amendments to the IT Rules 2023 that allow setting up of a fact-checking unit under which the executive will have sole authority to determine what is fake or not, and with powers to order content take-down.

While admittedly there is a problem of misinformation and fake news, especially in the online space, efforts to check such content have to be by independent bodies that are not under the sole purview of the government, lest they become tools to clamp down on voices of dissent, the EGI said. Discover the stories of your interest Blockchain 5 Stories Cyber-safety 7 Stories Fintech 9 Stories E-comm 9 Stories ML 8 Stories Edtech 6 Stories Any such monitoring framework should follow principles of natural justice, including giving prior notice, right to appeal and judicial oversight, it added. Such units should also be set up with due consultation and involvement of all stakeholders, including journalists and media bodies, so that press freedom is not tampered with, it said.

“The Guild urges the Karnataka government to clearly specify the scope of and powers of the proposed fact-checking unit, as well as the governing mechanism under which it will operate. We further urge the state government to undertake a consultation exercise with press organisations for developing this framework,” it said. At the central-government level, the undertaking given by the Centre to the Bombay High Court to not constitute its Fact Check Unit has been extended to September 4.

This pertains to a case being heard regarding the constitutionality of the Information Technology (Amendment) Rules, 2023 in a PIL filed by political satirist Kunal Kamra and the Association of Indian Magazines. The Editors Guild of India has also filed a petition against the amendment. In a statement previously, the Guild had said the amendment to the IT Rules will have deeply adverse implications for press freedom in the country.

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From: economictimes_indiatimes
URL: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/technology/karnataka-govts-decision-to-set-up-fact-checking-unit-concerning-editors-guild-of-india/articleshow/103110910.cms

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