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The recent notification issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology regarding the establishment of the Fact Check Unit under the Press Information Bureau (PIB) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting marks a significant development in the realm of government communication and information dissemination. This move comes under the purview of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, and holds implications for central government operations and public information management.

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Ministry of Information & Broadcasting

Government notifies PIB’s  Fact Check Unit under IT Rules 2021

Government of India today notified Fact Check Unit (FCU) under the Press Information Bureau (PIB) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) as the fact check unit of the Central Government.

In a Gazette notification issued today, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) notified the PIB FCU under the provisions of the sub-clause (v) of sub-rule (1) of rule 3 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. MIB and MeitY have been working closely on the subject to address the challenge of fake news, especially on social media.

The Fact Check Unit under PIB was established in November 2019 with a stated objective of acting as a deterrent to creators and disseminators of fake news and misinformation.  It also provides people with an easy avenue to report suspicious and questionable information pertaining to the Government of India.

The FCU is mandated to counter misinformation on Government policies, initiatives and schemes either suo motu or under a reference via complaints. The FCU actively monitors, detects, and counters disinformation campaigns, ensuring that false information about the Government is promptly exposed and corrected.

Citizens can reach out to the PIB Fact Check Unit through various modes, including  through WhatsApp (+918799711259), email (pibfactcheck[at]gmail[dot]com), Twitter (@PIBFactCheck) and PIB’s website ( https://factcheck.pib.gov.in/). The Fact Check Unit’s WhatsApp Hotline Number is a handy tool for such people where one only has to forward a suspicious message.

The PIB Fact Check Unit has also taken measures to ensure the accessibility of the fact-checks to persons with disabilities. Since images constitute a major part of social media, it is becoming increasingly imperative to provide ‘Alternative text’ (ALT) to ensure the universal reach of content. The PIB Fact Check Unit provides alternative text alongside all its posts disseminated on its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram handle.

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MINISTRY OF ELECTRONICS AND INFORMATION TECIENTOLOGY
NOTIFICATION
New Delhi, the 20th March, 2024

S.O. 1491(E).—In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-clause (v) of clause (b) of sub-rule (1) of rule 3 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the Central Government hereby notifies the Fact Check Unit under the Press Information Bureau of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as the fact check unit of the Central Government for the purposes of the said sub-clause, in respect of any business of the Central Government.

[No. AA-11011/212024-CL&ES]

SANDIP CHATTFRJEE, Scientist G

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