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Centre directs social media platforms to curb COVID-19 misinformation in new advisory

Social media platforms have been told to take immediate action to disable or remove content spreading misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 08, 2021 / 10:35 AM IST
The Centre has directed platforms to promote authentic information related and issue warnings to those misusing social media. (Image: Shutterstock)

The Centre has directed platforms to promote authentic information related and issue warnings to those misusing social media. (Image: Shutterstock)

Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, the government has directed social media platforms to keep misinformation in check.

The Centre on May 7 sent an advisory to social media platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram, asking them to initiate awareness campaigns among users to not circulate "any false news or misinformation that may create panic among the public and disturb the public order"

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They have also been told to take immediate action to disable or remove content spreading misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as per an Economic Times report.

The Centre has also urged platforms to promote authentic information related and issue warnings to those misusing social media.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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"They (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 and unlawful in any way," the advisory read, as per the report.

As per the advisory issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, social media platforms are intermediaries and are therefore required to follow due diligence, as prescribed in the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

The Centre in February had introduced new rules regarding the use of social media which states that if any content is deemed offensive by a court or government, social media firms have to take it down within 36 hours.

Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of COVID-19 outbreak

 
Moneycontrol News
first published: May 8, 2021 10:35 am

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