The Press Information Bureau (PIB) has created a fact checking unit in order to identify the fake news related to government and its policies circulating on various social media platforms. The fact check unit will have officials from the PIB as well as employees hired on contract to monitor platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube to flag news that is fake. PIB took to Twitter and reported the same. “Received a forward that looks too good to be true!!! or maybe came across a piece of news that you want verified !! Send it across and we will Fact Check it for you, no questions asked."

How will the PIB fact-checking team work

-If you have doubts about the authenticity of a WhatsApp forward tweet or a Facebook post, just forward it to the PIB

-You just need to email a snapshot to pibfactcheck@gmail.com

-You can also send an url to pibfactcheck@gmail.com

-The fact-check team will check whether the news is fake or true

-This fact-checking will be done only if the news is related to government departments/ministries or schemes.

Countering fake news has been high on government's agenda. During the recently concluded Lok Sabha Elections, Election Commission also worked with social media platforms to identify and pull out posts that were fake.

The government is also finalising new IT rules for social media companies that would mandate traceability of originator of information on such platforms and removal of malicious content within 24 hours of notice.

The proposed new norms include deployment of technology-based automated tools or appropriate mechanisms for proactively identifying and removing or disabling public access to unlawful information or content, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Sanjay Dhotre said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

Messaging giant WhatsApp has, in the past, drawn flak from the government on the issue of message traceability. The government has been asking the Facebook-owned company to find ways to identify originators of rogue messages but the US-based firm has resisted the demand citing privacy concerns.

-With inputs from Agencies


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