India offers social media companies to rely on fact-checking by government agencies – TechCrunch
The Indian government has proposed to make the Press Bureau of India and its other agencies the arbiter of truth on misleading information for social media companies and other internet companies as they monitor their users’ data on the South Asian market.
The Ministry of Electronics and Computing’s proposal was part of an amendment to the country’s IT rules. In the current draft, the ministry requires social media companies and online gaming companies to perform due diligence on content users “host, post, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share” and to ensure that they are not “manifestly untrue and untrue or misleading in nature”.
The change proposes (PDF) that social media companies and game companies use the judgment of the Press Information Office, a nodal agency, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or other authorized agency by the central government for fact-checking or “in respect of all business of the central government, by its department in which such business is transacted.
The India Press Office fact checks have been scrutinized and found misleading in some cases by local media.
The ministry proposed earlier this month that the online gaming industry establish a self-regulatory body to oversee concerns over rising addiction to their titles. On Tuesday night, he proposed that where the department believes the self-regulatory body has failed to comply with the provisions of this rule, it can order the body to “take action to remedy the non-compliance”.
The new proposal could add to the growing pain of many tech giants in India, one of their key overseas markets, where they have been subjected to greater accountability, scrutiny and questionable tactics in recent years. . New Delhi enters 2023 with several other such policy changes, including a telecommunications law that would tighten the government’s grip on internet companies.
Asia Internet Coalition, an influential industry group that represents Google, Meta and Amazon, among other tech companies, raised concerns earlier this month about the digital competition law recommended by an Indian parliamentary panel that seeks to regulate their alleged anti-competitive practices, calling the proposal “absolutist and regressive” in nature.
The Indian panel said last month that its recommendation was of systemic importance in countering monopoly and warned that tech giants ‘must not favor their own offerings over competitors’ offerings’ when taking action. as mediators for supply and sales markets.