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Covid-19: Telangana launches dedicated website for fact checking of information

Hyderabad: Telangana Government on Thursday launched a dedicated website https://factcheck.telangana.gov.in as part of its efforts to check the spread of fake news, misinformation and rumours in the backdrop of Coronavirus spread and the consequent lockdown.

It may be recalled that the Telangana Government has already invoked the provisions of Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and notified Telangana Epidemic Diseases (COVID-19) Regulations, 2020 framed under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

Disseminating information on social media platforms without ascertaining the facts and obtaining prior clearance from competent authorities is deemed a punishable offence under the said Act and Regulations.

The Supreme Court took serious note of the panic created by fake news leading to mass movement of migrant labourers directing the Union and State Governments to take effective measures to check circulation of fake news.

Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao in his recent media briefings on Coronavirus Lockdown also warned the spreaders of fake news, misinformation and rumours of stern action. The CM has ordered the DGP and CS to take stringent measures against the perpetrators.

Principal Secretary, ITE&C Dept., Jayesh Ranjan said, “Notwithstanding the penal provisions, it goes without saying that creating awareness on the adverse effects of spreading fake news/ misinformation along with providing the authentic sources of information and a platform that verifies the information for authenticity will help address the issue.”

To this effect, ITE&C Dept. of Telangana Government in partnership with Factly Media & Research has developed a dedicated web portal https://factcheck.telangana.gov.in. It is aimed at dispelling the fake news and misinformation campaigns on the social media platforms and to provide facts and context wherever applicable.

The website hosts articles on widely circulated posts on Coronavirus on the social media platforms and verify the claims made therein. Further, citizens can submit a post being circulated on the social media for fact checking by the ITE&C Dept.

The ITE&C Dept. will release a bulletin at regular intervals with a listing of posts spreading fake news, misinformation and rumours and give the facts with respect the information in question. (INN)

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