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A lot of alignment in govt rules, our vision, Google India chief

Laws of the land should be followed and there is a lot of alignment in Google’s vision and the government’s proposed rules around misinformation, a senior Google official said on Thursday.

Google India, Country Manager and Vice President, Sanjay Gupta said the company will meet the government requirement around fact-checking.

“There is no philosophical view more than follow the laws of the land and solve for consumers. Our vision is simple, organise information and make it helpful and safe for consumers. Even the government’s intent, when they bring out laws, is to ensure that you make it safe and helpful. I think there is a lot of alignment from why the rules are getting made and what our belief and vision is,” Gupta said.

He was responding to a question on his views on the government’s proposed norm on fact checks after releasing a report on news consumption trends in India.

Under the rules around misinformation, internet firms like Google, Facebook and Twitter may lose protection under safe harbour if they fail to remove content identified by the government-notified fact-checker as false or misleading information.

The safe harbour clause protects intermediaries from legal action on them for any objectionable content posted online by their users.

The IT ministry will notify an entity that will flag false information posted online pertaining to the government.

The government has proposed to notify Press Information Bureau as a fact checker under amended IT Rules.

The Editors Guild of India has expressed displeasure over the draft rules and called them “draconian” amendments that give the government “absolute power” to determine fake news. PTI

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