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Defending the Establishment of Fact-Check Unit in Social Media: Union Government’s Stand in Bombay HC

The Union government, represented by Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, robustly defended the establishment of a fact-checking unit (FCU) to combat fake news and misinformation on social media platforms. Mehta emphasized that the FCU is essential to prevent dissemination of false information that could potentially harm the public interest. He cited instances where misinformation, such as false claims about electoral processes, has circulated widely, underscoring the need for regulatory oversight.

Mehta clarified that the FCU does not aim to stifle free speech but rather ensures accuracy and reliability in information dissemination. The government’s argument hinges on safeguarding public trust and maintaining order amidst the proliferation of misleading content online, positioning the FCU as a necessary regulatory mechanism under existing statutory frameworks. The Bombay High Court continues to hear arguments, with further deliberations scheduled to address constitutional implications and petitioners’ concerns about potential censorship.