Subramanian Swamy likens fake news to cancer, says 'we need surgery to deal with it'
Fake news has become like "cancer" and there is need for "surgery" to deal with it, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has said.
Swamy was in the city to address the 14th Annual India Business Conference at Columbia Business School hosted by the South Asia Business Association.
"Fake news has become a kind of cancer and we have to have some kind of surgery. In a democratic country, the balance has to be drawn between freedom of expression and permitted restrictions that the Constitution allows. That is where the line drawing has become a major problem for the governments," Swamy said.
He said the media has now genuinely become mass media, the cyber world has made it possible to get instantaneous news but it has become very difficult to keep track of contradicting information that spreads fast.
Swamy also referred to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting's recent guidelines, which were later withdrawn, journalists would have lost their accreditation if it was confirmed they published fake news.
Swamy said Prime Minister Narendra Modi "correctly pointed out" that the power in this regard had already been given to the Press Council of India.
He added that competitiveness in the media has reached a high point. He said he does not think that journalists are putting out fake news "out of negativity" but they are motivated by enemies of one politician against the other politician to defame by making it look like genuine news.
Swamy said explosion of fake and incorrect news has to be dealt with in a sophisticated manner, adding that if an accusation is made against somebody, then the news organisation must also print his or her "simultaneous and concurrent" rebuttal.
The issue of fake news has to "be dealt with because it damages reputation," Swamy added.