As the total number of cases of coronavirus infection in India rose to 421, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Monday issued an advisory to social media platforms to curb false news and misinformation regarding the COVID-19. 

As per a statement released by the ministry, social media platforms are intermediaries as defined under section 2(1)(w) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and are required to follow due diligence as prescribed in the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules notified under section 79 of the IT Act.

“Social media platforms must inform their users not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update or share any information that may affect public order in any way,” the statement read.

The advisory further urged the platforms to initiate awareness campaigns for the users not to upload or circulate any false news or misinformation concerning coronavirus which is likely to create panic among the public and disturb public order and social tranquillity.

It also asked to take immediate action to disable or remove such content hosted on their platforms on a priority basis and promote the dissemination of authentic information related to coronavirus as far as possible.

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