After the Centre announced Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 on Thursday, a post started doing rounds on social media. It is being claimed in the post that all social media accounts need to be verified with a government ID card through mobile phones within 3 months.
“All Social Media accounts need to be verified with a government ID through mobile phones within three months,” the post read.
Here’s the link to the above post.
NewsMobile fact-checked the post and found the claim to be misleading.
On putting some keywords through a Google search, we found a tweet by News18 dated February 25, 2021. On being asked about verification of accounts on social media platforms, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “If someone is active on social media, they should inform social media company about who they are. We are not asking them to disclose their identity to us. We want verification to be done by social media platform & not by govt.”
#EXCLUSIVE – If someone is active on social media, they should inform social media company about who they are. We are not asking them to disclose their identity to us. We want verification to be done by social media platform & not by govt: IT Minister @rsprasad to @maryashakil. pic.twitter.com/hqjOolUnId
— News18 (@CNNnews18) February 25, 2021
He also mentioned that it is a voluntary verification mechanism and is not mandatory.
We also found a press release by the Press Information Bureau that mentions the voluntary verification mechanism. The release mentions the guidelines related to social media to be administered by the Ministry of Electronics and IT.
As per the release, users who wish to verify their accounts voluntarily shall be provided with an appropriate mechanism to verify their accounts and provided with a demonstrable and visible mark of verification.
The official Twitter account of the PIB Fact Check also put out a post claiming the claim is misleading.
All social media accounts need to be verified with a Government ID through mobile phones within 3 months.#PIBFactCheck
This claim is Misleading. Verification of accounts is not mandatory.#Conclusion
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) February 26, 2021
Hence, from the above post, it is clear that the viral post is misleading as the government has not announced that all social media accounts need to be verified with a government ID.
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