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Govt notifies fact-checking unit under PIB to check fake news, misinformation related to Centre

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The government on Wednesday notified a fact-check unit (FCU) under the Press Information Bureau (PIB) of the ministry of information and broadcasting. The FCU will be the nodal agency to tackle or alert about all fake news or misinformation related to the central government, an official notification said.

The unit, established in November 2019, has now got the “legal backing” with the notification, a senior government official said.

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“If they (PIB fact-checking unit) flag any news related to the central government as false, intermediaries are now bound to take it down. It is up to them whether they wish to label the fact-checked content as fake or not. However, if they choose to leave such content up on their platform despite being fact-checked, court’s actions and other legal procedures can be initiated,” the official told ET.

The notification of the FCU has been done under Rule 3(1)(b)(v) of the Information Technology Rules of 2021.

The sub-clause mandates all social media and internet intermediaries to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the users of its platforms should not display, host, publish or upload information that is deceiving or misleading, is patently false and untrue as far as the central government is concerned.

The PIB fact-check unit categorises any information received by it into three categories, namely fake, misleading and true. If a piece of information is completely false and can “deceive or manipulate the audience, with or without the intention to cause potential harm”, it is classified as fake news.

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If a content is uploaded has “selective presentation of facts or figures or with distortion of facts or figures” and can mislead or deceive readers, it is classified as misleading by the PIB fact check unit.In April 2023, the ministry of electronics and information technology had amended the IT Rules of 2021 to introduce the provisions of a government-run fact-checking body to verify any information about the central government. The proposal was challenged in the Bombay High Court, which ruled last week that the government was free to notify the FCU.


The government on Wednesday notified a fact-check unit (FCU) under the Press Information Bureau (PIB) of the ministry of information and broadcasting. The FCU will be the nodal agency to tackle or alert about all fake news or misinformation related to the central government, an official notification said.

The unit, established in November 2019, has now got the “legal backing” with the notification, a senior government official said.

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Offering College Course Website
MIT MIT Technology Leadership and Innovation Visit
IIM Lucknow IIML Executive Programme in FinTech, Banking & Applied Risk Management Visit
Indian School of Business ISB Product Management Visit

“If they (PIB fact-checking unit) flag any news related to the central government as false, intermediaries are now bound to take it down. It is up to them whether they wish to label the fact-checked content as fake or not. However, if they choose to leave such content up on their platform despite being fact-checked, court’s actions and other legal procedures can be initiated,” the official told ET.

The notification of the FCU has been done under Rule 3(1)(b)(v) of the Information Technology Rules of 2021.

The sub-clause mandates all social media and internet intermediaries to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the users of its platforms should not display, host, publish or upload information that is deceiving or misleading, is patently false and untrue as far as the central government is concerned.

The PIB fact-check unit categorises any information received by it into three categories, namely fake, misleading and true. If a piece of information is completely false and can “deceive or manipulate the audience, with or without the intention to cause potential harm”, it is classified as fake news.

Discover the stories of your interest


If a content is uploaded has “selective presentation of facts or figures or with distortion of facts or figures” and can mislead or deceive readers, it is classified as misleading by the PIB fact check unit.In April 2023, the ministry of electronics and information technology had amended the IT Rules of 2021 to introduce the provisions of a government-run fact-checking body to verify any information about the central government. The proposal was challenged in the Bombay High Court, which ruled last week that the government was free to notify the FCU.

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