Fake news on social media, that is, fake news was not already low, but before and after the riots in Delhi, they were flooded. Its role in spoiling the situation is not considered less. The situation is that every person is getting wrong electronic information from somewhere and is promoting it by broadcasting it indiscriminately. But those people are taking advantage of this, whose interest is attached to it. Obviously, the country and society are paying a big price for fake news. The problem is that we do not have any specific law to deal with fake news. At present, Information Technology Act (IT Act) and Indian Penal Code (IPC) are the only options available.
Fake news means fake electronic records. When someone prepares it, he can be sued under Section-469 of the IPC. But this provision applies only when there is defamation of someone with that fake news. However, if someone is cheated using electronic records, it is considered a more serious and punishable offense. A case is then registered under Section-468 of the IPC, which provides for imprisonment of up to seven years. But it has been observed for some time that in the case of fake electronic records, our police usually does not use Section-468 or 469 of IPC. This is the reason why hardly anyone goes to jail for the crime of fake news.
The scandal in the leprosy is that the legal provision does not apply to those who provoke people by broadcasting fake videos or news. In the year 2008, dissemination of information misleading people under the IT Act 66-A was a punishable offense. But in 2015, the Supreme Court accepted the public interest petitions of Shreya Singhal and others and declared it unconstitutional. Yes, the police can take action under IT Act 67, but this provision is basically in the context of online publication and transmission of pornographic materials.
This is the situation when some serious challenge in the form of ‘Deep Fake’ has spread itself. In ‘Deep Fake’ the technique makes the lie so powerful that it becomes difficult to identify it with the naked eye. In this, by changing the voice etc. in a video, it is given a new look in such a way that it becomes difficult for the common man to make him believe. First, there is a lack of law to fight fake news in the country, then technology is getting advanced day by day, as a result anti-social elements fearlessly run their agenda on the internet. The policy-makers of the country have to take a pledge that we will not allow India to become a fake news or deep fake laboratory. Now it has become very necessary to curb them.
This is just the beginning. With the passage of time, there will be such abominable forms that our mutual harmony can be over. The ideal situation is that a special law should be enacted to stop all this and the publication and transmission of fake news should be declared a punishable offense. Malaysia has done so recently. But at the same time, we have to increase the efficiency of the police department and our judiciary. The leadership of the country should realize that fake news or deep fake is poison which is slowly poisoning the common people. In the context of Delhi riots, fake videos were aired along with real videos. People were provoked with the help of these videos. We have seen the same in other sensitive matters.
The biggest problem is that in the event of optionlessness, measures are taken to stop internet service. But this is not a solid solution. Rather, Egypt is an example of how harmful this step can be. As soon as the government stopped internet service, the ‘Arab Spring’ started and the regime was overthrown. The use of the Internet has been included in the fundamental right to live life here. In such a situation, it is not possible to stop internet service for too many days. Although electronic information can be prevented, it is also when it is necessary to do so for the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country, a threat to public law and order or a violation of any law. Then, after the order of the Supreme Court, it is also necessary that the government should broadcast the reason among the common people as soon as the internet is closed.
Clearly, we have to make specific laws to prevent fake news. Until this happens, the IT Act-67 can be used, so that inflammatory videos cannot be broadcast in sensitive areas. On all social media platforms, pressure can be made to immediately delete the fake video or news information. At present, it is possible to do so by a court order, which is a long process. The loss of fake news happens immediately, so measures to prevent it should also be implemented soon. When the new law is enacted, then it is necessary to use only the existing legal provisions positively.