Centre notifies its fact check unit to red-flag news it considers false

Syllabus: GS-II Subject:Polity  Topic:Institutions

Issue: Fact checking unit

Context:Union Electronics and IT Ministry notified a Fact Checking Unit (FCU) under the Press Information Bureau.

FCU Functions:

  • It is tasked with flagging false information related to the Central government on social media.
  • Social media platforms are mandated to take down flagged content or lose their safe harbour privileges.
  • Safe harbour refers to provisions in law(Section 79 of IT Act 2000) that protect online platforms like Facebook or Twitter from being held liable for content posted by their users.


  • Chilling effect on free speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a).
  • Concerns about press freedom and government impartiality.
  • Could be used to suppress criticism of the government.
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