Internet entities will have to deal with consequences if they do not exercise due diligence about content posted on their platforms, Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Wednesday, according to ANI.
He made the remarks in the context of a social media furore that erupted after references to the separatist Khalistani movement were added to Indian cricketer Arshdeep Singh’s Wikipedia page.
“We’ve made it clear to the intermediaries that if they want to remain intermediaries, [they] have a due diligence obligation towards content that is posted on their platforms and if they don’t do that, there are consequences under law that they’ll have to deal with,” Chandrasekhar, who is the Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, said.
On Monday, a day after Singh’s Wikipedia page was edited, the minister had said that such online activity violated the government’s expectations of safe and trusted information.
“No intermediary operating in India can permit this type of misinformation and deliberate efforts to incitement and #userharm,” he wrote on Twitter.
He also posted screenshots of edits made to the online encyclopedia page to add the misinformation that Singh was born in “Khalistan” and represented the separatist group’s cricket team.
Singh, a 23-year old left-arm fast bowler, incurred the wrath of some social media users after he dropped a catch during the India-Pakistan cricket match in Dubai on Sunday. Pakistan defeated India by five wickets.
References to the Khalistan movement were added to the cricketer’s Wikipedia page shortly after the match ended. A day later, the online encyclopedia restricted rights to edit Singh’s page.
Several cricketers, including former off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, had extended their support to Singh in response to the online abuse.
“Stop criticising young Arshdeep Singh,” Harbhajan Singh wrote on Twitter. “No one drops the catch purposely...we are proud of our boys.”