Coronavirus | Centre asks social media firms to remove false news on COVID-19

March 22, 2020 10:19 pm | Updated 10:19 pm IST - New Delhi

Representational image.

Representational image.

Taking cognisance of fake news reports on the Internet, the IT Ministry has asked all social media companies to immediately remove false news spreading misinformation about novel coronavirus from their platform.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT issued an advisory on March 20 asking social media companies to inform users about not posting false news that can create panic among the public and disturb social tranquillity.

“Intermediaries are urged to... take immediate action to disable or remove such (false news) content hosted on their platforms on a priority basis,” Meity cyberlaws and e-security group coordinator Rakesh Maheshwari said in the advisory note issued to all social media companies.

The advisory said the COVID-19 outbreak has become a global concern with the World Health Organization declaring it a global health emergency.

It said that as per media reports there is a trend of circulation of misinformation/false news and sharing anonymous data related to coronavirus in social media platforms creating panic among the public.

The advisory asked social media companies to initiate “awareness campaign on their platforms for the users not to upload or circulate any false news or misinformation concerning coronavirus which are likely to create panic among the public and disturb the public order and social tranquillity”.

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