In an article in several news dailies, Prakash Javadekar said, rumours are spread widely as news with dangerous consequences and government is committed to battling it.
The Minister said, there is always a debate about how much freedom the press enjoys in a country. He pointed out that in India, the only time press freedom was muzzled was during the Emergency.
He said, fake news poses a big threat to freedom of media. He highlighted that during the lockdown, there has been a marked increase in the circulation of fake news pushed through print, electronic and especially social media such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.
To check this menace, government established a Fact Check unit in Press Information Bureau that started taking immediate cognizance of fake news.
Prakash Javadekar said, fake news also creates panic. He said, it cannot be allowed in a pluralistic democratic set up like India, not even if the purveyors of fake news try to portray it as crackdown on the freedom of press.