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Media must do self-regulation to tackle fake news: I&B minister Prakash Javadekar

He termed fake news as more dangerous than paid news

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KOLKATA: Fake news has become a huge issue in the age of social media. While the mass easily falls prey to it, Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar called for self-regulation while publishing digital content to curb the menace.

Addressing the delegates at the 16th Marketing Conclave organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), he said that fake news is a deadly virus, and emphasised on the importance of self-regulation.

Terming fake news as more dangerous than paid news, the minister said that the government has taken an initiative to curb fake news by setting up a fact check team which checks and verifies information being floated in the digital medium.

"We are definitely taking note of fake news and therefore we started one attempt in 2019 October, PIB Fact Check Unit. We have established PIB Fact Check units in all the states," Javadekar said.

Seeking greater accountability from social media platforms, he said misinformation weakens the functioning of a democracy and there should be a calibrated approach to thwart the spread of lies and misinformation. With all villages in India set to be connected through Bharatnet, there is a greater need to educate the masses about the detection of fake news.

Speaking about the importance of the digital medium, the minister said, “We must understand the pace with which it is growing and with the increasing number of smartphones users, digital content and advertising has become very important because of its reach and speed. Even the government has started to leverage the medium and using it to advertise.”

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