The Government is bringing laws and is taking other steps to make social media platforms more accountable for slanderous content posted on their platforms, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said on Friday.

Responding to supplementary questions during question hour in Rajya Sabha, he said the government is amending Intermediary Rules for social media to tackle the menace of misinformation and deepfake.

“Yes, we are amending the intermediary rules. The reason for that is the deepfake issues have come up in a very big way. With the spread of misinformation and deepfakes, we must take strict and urgent action to ensure that this menace is removed. So we are amending the Intermediary Rules,” Vaishnaw said.

He said the government was coming up with provisions where there is a significant responsibility bestowed on the social media platforms so that they can detect deepfakes, misinformation and take early action.

Vaishnaw further said that most of the social media platforms are already moderating a lot of content and these sites are no longer a pure platform they were 30 years back. “Entire global regulatory body is reaching a kind of a consensus on the matter,” he said, urging members of the House too to develop consensus on the need for more responsibility from social media portals for what they allow on their platforms.

For the digital economy, the government is also creating an institutional framework, he said adding that institutional framework has three parts – first is having a new set of legislations. “The Telecom Bill has been passed by this House, the personal digital data protection bill has been passed by this House, and another Bill is in the works,” he said.

In reply to another supplementary question by Rajeev Shukla (Congress) on the misuse of social media and the difficulty in removing slanderous posts, Vaishnaw reiterated that the social media platforms will have to take the responsibility.