Legislating Fake News-Drawing Line Between Free Speech and Disinformation

10 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2020

Date Written: May 15, 2020


This article discusses the challenges faced by fake news and disinformation disseminated through social media platforms in India, and the need for effective legislation and robust regulatory mechanism to deal with the said challenges. A line has to be drawn between the “free speech” that needs to be protected and “disinformation” that needs to be legislated by imposing reasonable restrictions on freedoms of speech and expression. This article, with the aid of Supreme Court judgments on the issue of subordinate legislation, further strives to argue that Indian government’s initiative to legislate the fake news and disinformation through subordinate legislation (Information Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules, 2018) may not achieve the goal as subordinate legislations have their own limitation and cannot travel beyond the scope of enabling Act.

Keywords: Fake News, Disinformation, Social Media, Information Technology Act, 2000, Draft of Information Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules, 2018, Fundamental Rights, Freedom of Speech and Expression, Reasonable Restriction, Intermediaries, Subordinate Legislation, India

Suggested Citation

Dubey, Akhilesh, Legislating Fake News-Drawing Line Between Free Speech and Disinformation (May 15, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3617044 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3617044

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