20 countries including India sign agreement to stop spread of fake news online

Twenty countries, including France, Britain and India, have signed an agreement at the United Nations to stop the spread of fake news on-line. The signatories, which also included South Africa and Canada, committed to promoting independently reported, diverse and reliable information on the internet under an accord initiated by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a press freedom watchdog.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian yesterday said, the emergence of a global digital space is shaking up the world of information, bringing with it progress as well as risks. He added on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York that misinformation on-line, especially during election campaigns, undermined trust in democratic institutions.  RSF said in a statement that the agreement underlined the responsibility of internet providers to promote trustworthy content and pluralism to escape the current information chaos.

Last week, Twitter shut down thousands of accounts worldwide for spreading misinformation, including some artificially amplifying pro-Saudi messaging as part of a regional propaganda war. Fake accounts from China seeking to sow discord among protesters in Hong Kong were also found.

The Hindu

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