Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 18 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday clarified that the police arrangements to take action against fake news is not targetted at any specific individuals and will not affect media freedom in any way.
It may be recalled that the Kerala government had set up an anti-fake news division to prevent the spread of misinformation on coronavirus in the state. There is also a fact check division under the Information and Public Relations Department (IPRD) to check the facts of news and messages, especially on social media.
Recently, the Chief Minister had announced that the police will take stringent action against those indulging in spreading fake news in the state.
Briefing the media, the Chief Minister said, "Fake news is not just a matter of harm or good to any individual, organisation or government. We must recognise that it is a disaster that affects society as a whole. The spread of fake news endangers democracy itself."
"There have been instances where even traditional media, which we consider to be experts in pursuing political goals and sometimes increasing circulation, have engaged in such activities," he said.
Vijayan further said, "The government would like to keep a tab on fake news without infringing upon the rights and freedom of media. Mainstream media organisations should ensure that they should not publish fake news."
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic started spreading its tentacles in the state, social media platforms were flooded with fake news and misinformation.
"This move is not targetted at any individual or organisation. It is part of our social commitment, a move to protect the lives and property of our citizens. I request all media outlets that uphold media ethics and morality to fully cooperate in this fight against fake news," Vijayan said.
The objective of the anti-fake news division is to bust fake news, share authentic government information, create educational content that encourages people to be more alert and sensitive to misinformation and work closely with the police to bring the culprits to book. (ANI)