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Information Disorder Tackling Unit

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    14th Oct, 2023


The Karnataka government has begun working on a unit that will scrutinise complaints and monitor the internet for misinformation and hate speech.

  • It comes against the backdrop of the Union government’s attempts to create its own fact-check unit.

What is Fake News?

  • Fake news refers to intentionally fabricated or misleading information presented as if it were real news.
  • It can be spread through traditional media sources like newspapers or television, but it is more commonly associated with social media platforms and other online sources.

About the Plan:

  • The plan to create such a unit — named the Information Disorder Tackling Unit — was first announced in June 2023.
  • Procedure:
    • Before the fact check is made public, the review a single point of contact (SPOC), appointed by the state government, must first approve initiating a fact check.
  • SPOC will also determine if the content violates a social media platform’s policies, is illegal, or needs to be blocked.
    • They will subsequently either inform the social media company, or lodge a complaint (with the police), or refer the matter to the central government to recommend blocking under Section 69A of the Information technology Act, respectively.
  • Members:
    • The fact check team will consist of independent fact check agencies whose fact checks must be “unbiased and evidence based”.
    • Its remit will be restricted to the jurisdiction of Karnataka.


  • Fact-checking in India can come from public submissions or proactive searches. State-appointed SPOCs must approve the fact-check process.
  • If needed, fact-checkers can request information from state departments. After analysis, an internal review takes place.
  • The final step involves review by the state-appointed SPOC, which may affect editorial independence due to multiple approvals.

Laws related to fake News:

  • The IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2023 aim to tackle the dissemination of false or misleading information through the introduction of fact-checking units.
  • In light of the detrimental impact of fake news, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis, governments worldwide have recognized the urgency to combat this menace.
  • India, in particular, has experienced a surge in fake news related to the pandemic, making it crucial for the government to proactively address the issue.

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