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The proposed IT Amendment Rules of 2023 aimed at combating fake news and misinformation are problematic, as they grant authorities broad and vague powers to censor information and punish those who spread it. Critically examine.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3. The proposed IT Amendment Rules of 2023 aimed at combating fake news and misinformation are problematic, as they grant authorities broad and vague powers to censor information and punish those who spread it. Critically examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

Any government-related content that is fact-checked as false or fake or misleading by the government’s fact-check unit must be taken down by all intermediaries, including social media platforms, as per the amended IT Rules, 2021.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about proposed IT Amendment Rules, 2023 and its potential to combat fake news and issues in them.

Directive word: 

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

First, in brief, write about the various concerns associated with fake news and its implications.

Next, write about the major changes in the about proposed IT Amendment Rules, 2023 and its potential in dealing with the menace of fake news.

Next, write about the various issues in the above – infringe on the right to freedom of expression, suppression of dissenting voices and lack of objectivity.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward to overcome the above issues.