Curbing fake news does not impinge on press freedom: Prakash Javadekar
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar today stated that curbing fake news does not impinge on press freedom. In an article in several news dailies, Mr Javadekar said, rumours are spread widely as news with dangerous consequences and government is committed to battling it.
The Minister said, there is always a debate about how much freedom the press enjoys in a country. He pointed out that in India, the only time press freedom was muzzled was during the Emergency. He said, fake news poses a big threat to freedom of media. He highlighted that during the lockdown, there has been a marked increase in the circulation of fake news pushed through print, electronic and especially social media such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.
To check this menace, government established a Fact Check unit in Press Information Bureau that started taking immediate cognizance of fake news. Mr Javadekar said, fake news also creates panic. He said, it cannot be allowed in a pluralistic democratic set up like India, not even if the purveyors of fake news try to portray it as crackdown on the freedom of press.