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Government asks platforms to curb COVID-19 misinformation  

Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, the government has directed social media platforms to keep misinformation in check.

The Centre on May 7 sent an advisory to social media platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram, asking them to initiate awareness campaigns among users to not circulate “any false news or misinformation that may create panic among the public and disturb the public order”

They have also been told to take immediate action to disable or remove content spreading misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as per an Economic Times report.

The Centre has also urged platforms to promote authentic information related and issue warnings to those misusing social media.

“They (social media platforms) must inform their users not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update or share any information that may affect public order and unlawful in any way,” the advisory read, as per the report.

As per the advisory issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, social media platforms are intermediaries and are therefore required to follow due diligence, as prescribed in the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

The Centre in February had introduced new rules regarding the use of social media which states that if any content is deemed offensive by a court or government, social media firms have to take it down within 36 hours. Moneycontrol News

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