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Cast Adrift without Safe Harbor: The Risks of Ignoring IT Act Protections (PART 10)


Social media and messaging platforms provide the perfect condition for the creation of cascades of information of all kinds. The power of these platforms has been leveraged to create social movements like Black Lives Matter, MeToo and TimesUp campaigns. This power has also been exploited to sow discord and manipulate elections.

The emergence of social media saw shifts in the media ecosystem with Facebook and Twitter becoming important tools for relaying information to the public. Anyone with a smartphone can be a broadcaster of information. Political parties are investing millions of dollars on research, development and implementation of psychological operations to create their own computational propaganda campaigns.[1] The use of automated bots to spread disinformation with the objective of moulding public opinion is a growing threat to the public sphere in countries around the world.[2] This raises new concerns about the vulnerability of democratic societies to fake news and the public’s limited ability to contain it.[3]

Fake news[4] is not a recent phenomenon. The issue of disinformation has existed since time immemorial in both traditional print and broadcast media. The advent of the Internet during the 90s opened the doors to a vast repository of information for people. The unimaginable growth of the Internet in a few years made it a host for a plethora of false and unwanted information. The World Economic Forum in 2013 had warned that ‘digital wild-fires’ i.e. unreliable information going viral will be one of the biggest threats faced by society and democracy: “The global risk of massive digital misinformation sits at the centre of a con-stellation of technological and geopolitical risks ranging from terrorism to cyber attacks and the failure of global governance”.[5]

In the 2016 United States Presidential elections[6] and the 2018 Brazilian Presidential elections,[7] the power of social media and messaging platforms was leveraged to sway elections in the favour of a particular candidate. The incidents commenced a global de-bate on tackling fake news and whether tech platforms are complicit in the issue. In the wake of these controversial elections there has been mounting pressure on online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to actively regulate their platforms.

Governments around the world have been grappling with the question of how existing laws that limit free speech for reasons such as incitement to violence can be applied in the digital sphere.[8] Increasing calls for the platforms to take a more proactive role in weeding out disinformation and hate speech have raised fears that they might become the ultimate arbiters of what constitutes unacceptable content.[9]

India has been reeling from the consequences of fake news floating on social media and messaging platforms, especially WhatsApp that has more than 200 million active Indi-an users.[10] Rumours related to possession of beef and child kidnapping have led to the deaths of thirty-three innocent people.[11] BBC conducted a research in India on the cause and motivation behind the viral dis-semination of fake news. The study found that the rising tide of nationalism along with a distrust in mainstream media has pushed people to spread information from alterna-tive sources without attempting to verify the information, under the belief that they were helping to spread a real story.[12]

Following the spate of mob lynchings, the Indian Government asked WhatsApp to devise ways to trace the origin of fake messages circulated on its platform.[13] The government cautioned WhatsApp that it cannot evade responsibility if its services are being used to spread disinformation and will be treated as an “abettor” for failing to take any action.[14]

In India, as mentioned in chapter, the Draft In-formation Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules], 2018 (“Draft Rules”) have been proposed by the government to fight ‘fake news’, terrorist content and obscene content, among others. They place obligations on intermediaries to pro-actively monitor content uploaded on their platforms and enable traceability to deter-mine the originator of information.

The Election Commission of India announced that all candidates contesting the 2019 general elections will have to submit details of their social media accounts and all political advertisements on social media will require prior certification.[15] All expenditure of campaigning on social media is to be included in the candidates election expenditure disclosure.[16]

The growing pressure worldwide on intermediaries to implement gatekeeping policies led Germany to pass “Netzwerkdurchsetzu-ngsgesetz” (NetzDG), also known as the Net-work Enforcement Act, which requires social networks with more than 2 million users to take down content that is “obviously illegal” within 24- hours after it is notified.[17] The law imposes fines of up to EUR 50 million on social media companies that fail to remove unlawful content from their websites.

In its latest transparency report[18] on removals under the NetzDG, Google stated that it received 465,784 requests in 2018 from users and reporting agencies to remove undesirable content from YouTube. The reasons provided for the complaints include: privacy, defamation, hate speech, political extremism, sexual content, terrorism-related and unconstitutional content, amongst others. In response to the removal requests, 112,941 items were removed by Google. Facebook, in its NetzDG Transparency Report, mentioned that it received 1,386 removal requests identifying a total of 2,752 pieces of content be-tween Jan-Dec, 2018.[19]

In 2018, the French Parliament passed a controversial legislation that empowers judges to order the immediate removal of “fake news” during election campaigns. The law allows the French national broadcasting agency to render the authority to suspend television channels “controlled by a foreign state or under the in-fluence” of that state if they “deliberately disseminate false information likely to affect the sincerity of the ballot.[20]

The European Commission and four major social media platforms - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft announced a Code of Conduct on countering illegal online hate speech.[21] The Code met with opposition from a number of rights groups like Index of Censorship[22] and EFF for being in vi-olation of the fundamental right to freedom of ex-pression.[23] The Code of Conduct is part of a trend where states are pressuring private corporations to censor content without any independent adjudication of the legality of the content.[24]

After the Cambridge-Analytica debacle, the Honest Ads Act was introduced in the United States Senate which would hold social media and other online platforms to the same political advertising transparency requirements that bind cable and broadcast systems.[25] The bill would require companies to disclose how advertisements were targeted as well as how much they cost.[26]

While governments are struggling to implement regulations that would address the significant challenge of combating the rising instances of fake news without jeopardising the right to free expression, there are difficult questions that arise: What should be the extent to which limits on free speech online should be imposed so that the utility of the Internet is not compromised? Does today’s digital capitalism make it profitable for tech companies to circulate click-worthy narratives?[27] Would regulating intermediaries without addressing the deeper and structural issues of lack of user education and media literacy be enough to solve the problem?

In 2017, in a ‘Joint declaration on freedom of expression and ‘Fake News’, disinformation and propaganda’, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, stated that “General prohibitions on the dissemination of information based on vague and ambiguous ideas, including “false news” or “non-objective infomation”, are incompatible with international standards for restrictions on freedom of ex-pression, and should be abolished.”[28]

The UK House of Commons, Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee in its final report on disinformation and fake news recommend-ed that digital literacy should be the fourth pillar of education, alongside reading, writing and maths. An educational levy can be raised on social media companies to finance a com-prehensive educational framework—developed by charities, NGOs, and the regulators themselves—and based online.[29]

It was also recommended that social media companies should be more transparent about their sites and how they work. Instead of hiding behind complex agreements, they should inform users about how their sites work, including curation functions and the way in which algorithms are used to prioritise certain stories, news and videos, depending on each user’s profile.[30] The Committee advised the enactment of a compulsory code of ethics, overseen by an independent regulator which would have statutory powers to monitor tech companies.[31] On advertisements related to political campaigning, the Committee was of the view that the government should define ‘digital campaigning’ including online political advertising, and that paid political advertising should be publicly accessible, clear and easily recognisable.[32]

In January 2018, the European Commission set up a high-level group of experts to advise on policy initiatives to counter fake news and disinformation spread online.[33] The High Level Committee recommended enhancing transparency, promoting media and information literacy, developing tools for empowering users and journalists, safeguarding the diversity and sustainability of the news media ecosystem and promoting continued research on the impact of disinformation.[34]

Oliver Sylvain in Connecticut Law Review proposes that courts should scrutinize the manner in which each website elicit user content and the extent to which they exploit that data in secondary or ancillary markets. Based on that, the level of protection un-der the intermediary liability legal regime should be decided, depending on whether a particular provider qualifies as an active or passive intermediary.[35]

Governments should enact a regulatory framework that ensures accountability and transparency of digital platforms without curbing free speech and innovation. The answer to bad speech should not be censorship. Such a regulatory framework should be developed as a result of multi- stakeholder consultations that involves the government, legal community, tech companies, civil society and regular users of social media.

Multi- stakeholder Perspectives on Combating Fake News conducted a series of discussions on fake news and intermediary liability across India in January 2019 including New Delhi (Jan 11, 18 and Feb 13), Bengaluru (Jan 15), Mumbai (Jan 16),Kochi (Jan 30), Hyderabad (Feb 12) .[36]

Some of the key findings from the discussions are:

· The definition of ‘fake news’ is vague and ambiguous and has to be deconstructed. There is no real agreement as to what the expression means. It is being used in an elastic manner and is being brandished as an all-purpose slogan to describe everything from errors to deliberate falsehoods. World leaders have been seen weaponizing this term and using it against news organizations and journalists whose coverage they find disagreeable. It was agreed that the best way to under-stand the term Fake News is to deconstruct it into three terms: misinformation, disinformation and mal-information. Misinformation was construed as circulation of incorrect information without any bad intention, Mal-information was defined as spread of real information to cause harm to a person, organization or society. Disinformation was understood to be false narrative deliberately spread to inflict harm.

· Information diet is coming from algorithms on social media platforms. There is a real problem of filter bubbles on these platforms. Therefore, it is important to think about algorithmic transparency and algorithm accountability.

· Regarding deployment of artificial intelligence, industry experts dealing with AI on a regular basis claimed that AI was nowhere near being ready for the task of solving human and political problems.

· Fact checking must be the foundation of journalism. There are very few independent fact checkers in India. After verifying the facts of a particular story, the next step must be to put the fact checked story back on the platform it emanated from and make it as viral as the fake news. It has to be packaged in a manner similar to the fake news with catchy / clickbait headlines. The government must encourage and empower independent journalism which is the backbone of a democratic setup.

· Vernacular media sources are witnessing higher viewership compared to English me-dia. Navbharat Times, one of the largest circulated Hindi newspapers is progressing to-wards highest online subscribers. However, fact-checking is limited to English media only. There is a lack of incentives to fact-checkers in advertisement based business models of online media groups.

· Social media giants should scale up their efforts to fact check and down-rank information proliferating on their platforms by collaborating with third party fact checkers.

· There is a problem in the education system. Apart from digital literacy, there is a need to teach critical thinking skills to young people. A culture of questioning and skepticism should be encouraged.

· Decentralization of technology is important to break information monopolies.

· Other suggested solutions included providing incentives to startups that do fact checking, giving tax breaks to small organizations that bring truth back as an important value in the digital realm.

· The proposed Draft Rules can act like a minesweeper and have the potential to be misused. Regulation should be such that it aids in the growth of a free Internet instead of restricting it.

While digital and media literacy is indispensable in ensuring that consumers of information on social media do not fall prey to disinformation, we cannot dismiss the roles that tech companies should play in addressing the issue by ramping up their efforts to keep their platforms clean. Platforms should expand their endeavours to work jointly with third party fact checkers and invest in educating users and developing tools to help them distinguish between news that comes from a reliable source and stories coming from outlets that are regarded as unreliable. WhatsApp recently limited forwarding messages to five chats to contain the virality of messages on their platform.[37] The messaging platform launched TV and Radio campaigns to spread awareness[38] and partnered with local NGOs to educate users about the need to verify in-formation.[39]

Facebook is working with their community and third-party fact-checking organizations to identify false/fake news and limit the spread. Ahead of the General Elections 2019, Facebook has partnered with seven third party fact -checkers namely: BOOM-Live, AFP, India Today Group, Vishvas. news, Factly, Newsmobile and Fact Crescendo covering six languages, to review and rate the correctness of stories on Facebook.[40] The platform is also in the process of setting up an operations centre in Delhi which would be responsible to monitor election content 24X7. To achieve this, the centre will be co-ordinating with global Facebook offices located at Menlo Park (California), Dublin and Singapore.[41]

Facebook has devised new features to bring more transparency in advertisements on its platform in India.[42] The platform will allow its users to view the publishers and sponsors of the advertisement they are accessing.[43] It has rolled out a searchable ad libraryfor its viewers to analyze political ads. The information provided by this ad library includes range of impressions, expenditure on the said ads and the demographics of who saw the ad.[44]

Any efforts to label and identify question-able stories or sources should be consistent across platforms.[45] Voters should be able to identify untrustworthy content across platforms and trust that all platforms use the same standards to classify it.[46]

Transparency about algorithms, content moderation techniques and political advertising will go a long way in countering the problem.[47] Large social media platforms are generally founded on the economic model of surveillance capitalism rooted in delivering advertisements based on data collection.[48] Decentralized, user owned, free and open-source platforms that do not rely on wide-spread data collection can potentially limit the spread of fake news.[49]

It is short-sighted to think that laws can completely fix the problem, it is nevertheless necessary to have a discussion about a regulatory framework that ensures accountability and transparency of digital platforms without curbing free speech and innovation. The answer to bad speech should not be censorship. Such a regulatory framework should be developed as a result of multi-stakeholder consultations that involves the government, legal community, tech companies, civil society and regular users of social media.

The objective of the Draft Information Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules], 2018 (“the Draft Rules”) seemed to be to counter disinformation / fake news on social media and messaging platforms but its purpose would not have been served by such arbitrary and sweeping provisions. The Draft Rules seemed to be violative of the fundamental rights to free speech and privacy and the dictum of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal v Union of India. While transparency and accountability of platforms is the need of the hour, the government should enact a less-invasive and proportional means of regulation of the internet.

The Intermediary Guidelines 2021 at a glance[50]

Salient Features

Guidelines Related to Social Media to Be Administered by Ministry of Electronics and IT:

  • Due Diligence To Be Followed By Intermediaries: The Rules prescribe due diligence that must be followed by intermediaries, including social media intermediaries. In case, due diligence is not followed by the intermediary, safe harbour provisions will not apply to them.

  • Grievance Redressal Mechanism: The Rules seek to empower the users by mandating the intermediaries, including social media intermediaries, to establish a grievance redressal mechanism for receiving resolving complaints from the users or victims. Intermediaries shall appoint a Grievance Officer to deal with such complaints and share the name and contact details of such officer. Grievance Officer shall acknowledge the complaint within twenty four hours and resolve it within fifteen days from its receipt.

  • Ensuring Online Safety and Dignity of Users, Specially Women Users: Intermediaries shall remove or disable access withing 24 hours of receipt of complaints of contents that exposes the private areas of individuals, show such individuals in full or partial nudity or in sexual act or is in the nature of impersonation including morphed images etc. Such a complaint can be filed either by the individual or by any other person on his/her behalf.

  • Two Categories of Social Media Intermediaries: To encourage innovations and enable growth of new social media intermediaries without subjecting smaller platforms to significant compliance requirement, the Rules make a distinction between social media intermediaries and significant social media intermediaries. This distinction is based on the number of users on the social media platform. Government is empowered to notify the threshold of user base that will distinguish between social media intermediaries and significant social media intermediaries. The Rules require the significant social media intermediaries to follow certain additional due diligence.

  • Additional Due Diligence to Be Followed by Significant Social Media Intermediary:

  • Appoint a Chief Compliance Officer who shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and Rules. Such a person should be a resident in India.

  • Appoint a Nodal Contact Person for 24x7 coordination with law enforcement agencies. Such a person shall be a resident in India.

  • Appoint a Resident Grievance Officer who shall perform the functions mentioned under Grievance Redressal Mechanism. Such a person shall be a resident in India.

  • Publish a monthly compliance report mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken on the complaints as well as details of contents removed proactively by the significant social media intermediary.

  • Significant social media intermediaries providing services primarily in the nature of messaging shall enable identification of the first originator of the information that is required only for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of an offence related to sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, or public order or of incitement to an offence relating to the above or in relation with rape, sexually explicit material or child sexual abuse material punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years. Intermediary shall not be required to disclose the contents of any message or any other information to the first originator.

  • Significant social media intermediary shall have a physical contact address in India published on its website or mobile app or both.

  • Voluntary User Verification Mechanism: Users who wish to verify their accounts voluntarily shall be provided an appropriate mechanism to verify their accounts and provided with demonstrable and visible mark of verification.

  • Giving Users An Opportunity to Be Heard: In cases where significant social media intermediaries removes or disables access to any information on their own accord, then a prior intimation for the same shall be communicated to the user who has shared that information with a notice explaining the grounds and reasons for such action. Users must be provided an adequate and reasonable opportunity to dispute the action taken by the intermediary.

  • Removal of Unlawful Information:An intermediary upon receiving actual knowledge in the form of an order by a court or being notified by the Appropriate Govt. or its agencies through authorized officer should not host or publish any information which is prohibited under any law in relation to the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, friendly relations with foreign countries etc.

  • The Rules will come in effect from the date of their publication in the gazette, except for the additional due diligence for significant social media intermediaries, which shall come in effect 3 months after publication of these Rules.

Digital Media Ethics Code Relating to Digital Media and OTT Platforms to Be Administered by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting:

There have been widespread concerns about issues relating to digital contents both on digital media and OTT platforms. Civil Society, film makers, political leaders including Chief Minister, trade organizations and associations have all voiced their concerns and highlighted the imperative need for an appropriate institutional mechanism. The Government also received many complaints from civil society and parents requesting interventions. There were many court proceedings in the Supreme Court and High Courts, where courts also urged the Government to take suitable measures.

Since the matter relates to digital platforms, therefore, a conscious decision was taken that issues relating to digital media and OTT and other creative programmes on Internet shall be administered by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting but the overall architecture shall be under the Information Technology Act, which governs digital platforms.


Ministry of Information and Broadcasting held consultations in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai over the last one and half years wherein OTT players have been urged to develop “self-regulatory mechanism”. The Government also studied the models in other countries including Singapore, Australia, EU and UK and has gathered that most of them either have an institutional mechanism to regulate digital content or are in the process of setting-up one.

The Rules establish a soft-touch self-regulatory architecture and a Code of Ethics and three tier grievance redressal mechanism for news publishers and OTT Platforms and digital media.

Notified under section 87 of Information Technology Act, these Rules empower the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to implement Part-III of the Rules which prescribe the following:

  • Code of Ethicsfor online news, OTT platforms and digital media:This Code of Ethics prescribe the guidelines to be followed by OTT platforms and online news and digital media entities.

  • Self-Classification of Content: The OTT platforms, called as the publishers of online curated content in the rules, would self-classify the content into five age based categories- U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult). Platforms would be required to implement parental locks for content classified as U/A 13+ or higher, and reliable age verification mechanisms for content classified as “A”. The publisher of online curated content shall prominently display the classification rating specific to each content or programme together with a content descriptor informing the user about the nature of the content, and advising on viewer description (if applicable) at the beginning of every programme enabling the user to make an informed decision, prior to watching the programme.

  • Publishers of news on digital media would be required to observe Norms of Journalistic Conduct of the Press Council of India and the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act thereby providing a level playing field between the offline (Print, TV) and digital media.

  • A three-level grievance redressal mechanism has been established under the rules with different levels of self-regulation.

  • Level-I: Self-regulation by the publishers;

  • Level-II: Self-regulation by the self-regulating bodies of the publishers;

  • Level-III: Oversight mechanism.

  • Self-regulation by the Publisher: Publisher shall appoint a Grievance Redressal Officer based in India who shall be responsible for the redressal of grievances received by it. The officer shall take decision on every grievance received by it within 15 days.

  • Self-Regulatory Body: There may be one or more self-regulatory bodies of publishers. Such a body shall be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, a High Court or independent eminent person and have not more than six members. Such a body will have to register with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This body will oversee the adherence by the publisher to the Code of Ethics and address grievances that have not be been resolved by the publisher within 15 days.

  • Oversight Mechanism: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting shall formulate an oversight mechanism. It shall publish a charter for self-regulating bodies, including Codes of Practices. It shall establish an Inter-Departmental Committee for hearing grievances.

[1] Philip N. Howard, Samantha Bradshaw, The Global Organization of Social Media Disinformation Campaigns, COLUMBIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, accessible on Appendix [.] [2] Dean Jackson, How Disinformation Impacts Politics and Publics, NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY, accessible on Appendix [.] [3] David Lazer, Matthew Baum, Nir Grinberg, Lisa Friedland, Kenneth Joseph, Will Hobbs, Carolina Mattsson, Com-bating Fake News: An Agenda for Research and Action, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL, SHORENSTEIN CENTER,, also accessible on Appendix [.] [4] the term “Fake News” refers to news that is deliberately and verifiably false and created with the intention to mislead readers. [5] Lee Howell, Global Risks, Insight Report, WEF, 23 (2013), also accessible on Appendix [.] [6] Richard Gunther, Paul A. Beck, Erik C. Nisbet, Fake News Did Have a Significant Impact on the Vote in the 2016 Election, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, Fake-News-Piece-for-The-Conversation-with-methodological-appendix-11d0ni9.pdf, also accessible on Appendix [.] [7] Anthony Broadle, Explainer: Facebook’s WhatsApp flooded with fake news in Brazil election, REUTERS,, also accessible on Appendix [.] [8] Lee Howell, Global Risks, Insight Report, WEF, 23 (2013), also accessible on Appendix [.] [9] Platform responsibility, The London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Media and Communications, LSE platform-responsibility, also accessible on Appendix [.] [10] WhatsApp now has 1.5 billion monthly active users, 200 million users in India, FINANCIAL EXPRESS,, also accessible on Appendix [.] [11] Alison Saldanah, Pranav Rajput, Jay Hazare, Child-Lifting Rumours: 33 Killed In 69 Mob Attacks Since Jan 2017. Before That Only 1 Attack In 2012, INDIA SPEND,, also accessible on Appendix [.] [12] Santanu Chakrabarti, Lucile Stengel, Sapna Solanki, Duty, Identity, Credibility: Fake News and the Ordinary Citizen in India, BBC,, also accessible on Appendix [.] [13] PTI, Mob Lynchings: WhatsApp At Risk Of Being Labelled “Abettor”, BLOOMBERG QUINT,, also accessible on Appendix [.] [14] Ibid [15] Scroll Staff, Lok Sabha polls: All political ads on social media will need prior certification, says ECI, SCROLL,, also accessible on Appendix [.] [16] Nikhil Pahwa, Key takeways from Election Commission’s 2019 India’s 2019 Elections announcement: On Fake News, Online Political Advertising and Model Code of Conduct, MEDIANAMA, https://www.medianama. com/2019/03/223-key-takeways-from-election-commissions-2019-indias-2019-elections-announcement-on-fake-news-on-line-political-advertising-and-model-code-of-conduct/, also accessible on Appendix [.] [17] BBC, Germany starts enforcing hate speech law, BBC, also accessible on Appendix [.] [18] Removals under the Network Enforcement Law, Google Transparency Report, GOOGLE, https://, also accessible on Appendix [.] [19] NetzDG Transparency Report, FACEBOOK, https://fbnewsroomus.files.wordpress. com/2018/07/facebook_netzdg_july_2018_english-1.pdf, also accessible on Appendix [.] [20] Michael-Ross Florentino, France passes controversial ‘fake news’ law, EURONEWS https://www., also accessible on Appendix [.] [21] Code of Conduct on countering online hate speech – results of evaluation show important progress, EUROPEAN COM-MISSION, also available on Appendix [.] [22] EU agreement with tech firms on hate speech guaranteed to stifle free expression, INDEX ON CENSORSHIP, also available on Appendix [.] [23] Jillain York, European Commission’s Hate Speech Deal With Companies Will Chill Speech, EFF,, also available on Appendix [.] [24] Responding to ‘hate speech’: Comparative overview of six EU countries, ARTICLE 19 https://, also available on Appendix [.] [25] Ellen P. Goodman, Lyndsay Wajert, The Honest Ads Act Won’t End Social Media Disinformation, but It’s a Start, SSRN, (2017), also available on Appendix [.] [26] Jack Nicas, Facebook to require verified identities for future political ads, NYTIMES https://, also available on Appendix [.] [27] Evgeny Morozov, Moral panic over fake news hides the real enemy – the digital giants, The Guardian,, also available on Appendix [.] [28] David Kaye, Freedom of Expression Monitors Issue Joint Declaration on ‘Fake News’, Disinformation and Propaganda, OHCHR, also available on Appendix [.] [29] Disinformation and ‘fake news’: Final Report, House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, UK PAR-LIAMENT, Htm, also available on Appendix [.] [30] Ibid [31] Ibid [32] Ibid [33] A multi-dimensional approach to disinformation, Report of the independent High level Group on fake news and online disinformation, EUROPEAN COMMISSION,, also available on Appendix [.] [34] Ibid [35] Olivier Sylvain, Intermediary Design Duties, 50, CONNECTICUT LAW REVIEW, 1 (2018), also available on Appendix [.] [36] Blue Paper: Misinformation and Intermediary Liability,,, also available on Appendix [.] [37] WhatsApp Blog, More changes to forwarding, WHATSAPP, More-changes-to-forwarding, accessible on Appendix [.] [38] PTI, WhatsApp rolls out TV campaign in India to tackle fake news, LIVEMINT, https://www.livemint. com/Companies/QU7LWGcHf0m49uiBqDRzlN/WhatsApp-rolls-out-TV-campaign-in-India-to-tackle-fake-news.html, also available on Appendix [.] [39] WhatsApp embarks on user-education drive to curb fake messages, HINDU BUSINESS LINE, https://, also accessible at Appendix[.] [40] Nandita Mathur, Facebook planning a ‘war room’ in Delhi to monitor Elections 2019, LIVE MINT ,, also accessible at Appendix [.] [41] Ibid [42] Shivnath Thukral, Bringing More Transparency to Political Ads in India, https://newsroom., also accessible at Appendix [.] [43] Ibid [44] Ibid [45] Abby K. Wood, Ann M. Ravel, Fool Me Once: Regulating “Fake News” and other Online Advertising, 1227, SOUTHERN CAL-IFORNIA LAW REV., 55 (2018), also accessible on Appendix [.] [46] Ibid [47] Matteo Monti, Perspectives on the Regulation of Search Engine Algorithms and Social Networks: The Necessity of Protecting the Freedom of Information, 1, OPINIO JURIS IN COMPARATIONE, 10 (2017), also accessible on Appendix [.] (211) [48] Natasha Singer, The Week in Tech: How Google and Facebook Spawned Surveillance Capitalism, NYTIMES,, also accessible on Appendix [.] [49] Mark Verstraete, Derek E. Bambauer, Jane R. Bambauer, Identifying and Countering Fake News, Discussion Paper 17-15, ARIZONA LAW JOURNAL, 25 (2017), also accessible on Appendix [.] [50] Accessible at Appendix [.] or

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