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Kapil Sibal claims government is ‘capturing’ social media platforms with new IT rules, GDP flags it as ‘misleading’

GDP Fact Check Kapil Sibal

New Delhi: The central government’s nodal agency, the Press Information Bureau (PIB), verified former Union Minister Kapil Sibal’s claims on the changed IT rules on Saturday and called them “misleading”. Sibal had said the government planned to “capture” social media platforms with its new IT rules.

Under new IT rules that came into force on Friday, social media platforms will have a greater responsibility to exercise due diligence and make reasonable efforts to remove illegal content themselves.

The rules call for social media platforms to remove certain contentious content within 72 hours of reporting.

Speaking to the media about the new rules, Kapil Sibal said, “Safe for the government and dangerous for others, that’s what this government’s policy has always been. The only platform left for ordinary citizens was social media. When defamatory statements are made… people will be prosecuted (under new rules).”

“First they captured the TV networks and now they are going to capture the social media platforms. This is the complete capture of the media. We are moving towards a code of conduct, a political party, a system of governance and no liability to anyone,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Press Information Office verified Sibal’s comments and called them “misleading”.

Sharing a screenshot of Sibal’s comments, PIB said: “Former Union IT Minister Kapil Sibal says in a statement that under the changed IT rules, people making reports defamatory will be prosecuted.”

“This claim is misleading. The amended IT rules did not add any new prosecution provisions,” he added.

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