National

Tamil Nadu Government Establishes Fact-Check Unit To Combat Fake News And Hate Speech

Kerala has also maintained a fact-checking unit within its public relations department for some time. The decision to establish the Fact Check Unit stems from growing concerns about communal misinformation, hate speech, and the rapid spread of health misinformation, all of which can disrupt social harmony and affect the public's scientific understanding.

Advertisement

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin
info_icon

The Tamil Nadu government has taken a significant step to combat the spread of fake news, communal misinformation, and hate speech across various media platforms related to the state government. An order issued by the Tamil Development and Information Department on October 6 has established a fact-check unit, according to media reports. 

This unit will operate alongside a Central Task Force, led by a mission director, Iyan Karthikeyan, previously known for running a fact-checking channel on YouTube called "YouTurn." Karthikeyan will oversee a team of 80 members and report to the Department of Special Program Implementation, headed by Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin.

Advertisement

This move follows the footsteps of neighboring Karnataka, which announced a similar fact-checking unit to combat fake news on social media. Kerala has also maintained a fact-checking unit within its public relations department for some time. The decision to establish the Fact Check Unit stems from growing concerns about communal misinformation, hate speech, and the rapid spread of health misinformation, all of which can disrupt social harmony and affect the public's scientific understanding.

Karthikeyan confirmed his appointment as mission director on X (formerly Twitter) and expressed gratitude to Chief Minister M K Stalin and his son Udhayanidhi for the opportunity. He emphasized the importance of addressing hate speech without limiting freedom of speech, quoting United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres.

Advertisement

While many have welcomed this initiative, some have expressed concerns about potential government overreach in regulating and controlling information. Journalists and commentators have stressed the importance of using the Fact Check Unit to counter misinformation without infringing on free speech.

The government's order also outlines the creation of a "Central Task Force" based in Chennai, acting as a core component of the Fact Check Unit. District analysis teams will be established in each of Tamil Nadu's districts to ensure comprehensive coverage. The central task force, headed by the mission director, will be assisted by a project director to coordinate content-related functions.

Additionally, a joint director from the Information and Public Relations Department will oversee public campaigns and awareness efforts and collect information on fake news, misinformation, and hate speech for analysis.

The primary objective of the Fact Check Unit is to act as a deterrent against the creators and disseminators of fake news and misinformation. It will verify the authenticity of information related to the Government of Tamil Nadu across all media platforms, ensuring the accuracy of government announcements, policies, schemes, guidelines, and initiatives.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement