The Centre is consistently engaged in discussion with various social media intermediaries - including YouTube and Facebook - to find effective ways to prevent the spread of fake news and misinformation on their platforms, Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), said.
Social media primarily consists of user-generated content with minimal editorial monitoring to ensure the genuineness of the content, consequently the likelihood of misinformation in news is significantly higher, Chandra said at the FICCI Frames 2023 during a fireside chat session with Praveen Someshwar, Co-Chair and FICCI Media and Entertainment Committee and MD and CEO, HT Media
“The government is consistently engaged in discussions with various social media intermediaries such as YouTube, Facebook, and Telegram to find effective ways to prevent the spread of fake news and misinformation on their platforms. The discussions are ongoing, and the intermediaries are expected to come up with more technological solutions, particularly in a country like India, which has multiple languages,” Chandra stated.
Chandra also discussed the importance of balancing legacy media organisations and social media. He emphasised that big tech has helped media organisations to reach a wider audience, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two. However, he emphasised on the need for a balance between the two.
Furthermore, he stated, “Before the Digital Media Rules were introduced in 2021, there was no particular regulation for Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms. As a result, if someone was dissatisfied with the content, FIRs were filed against the OTTs. The Digital Media Rules have since created a specific framework to address these issues, and self-regulatory mechanisms by OTTs are also working well.”
Chandra also noted that there is a significant amount of money being invested in new content creation. He described the current regulatory approach by the government as a "light touch," which the Centre would like to see being adopted in other sectors as well. Overall, Chandra emphasised the need for a balanced and effective regulatory framework that benefits both legacy media organisations and social media platforms.
Earlier, during the event Chandra also mentioned that the Centre would like the OTT sector to grow and not get bogged down by regulations.