The Tamil Nadu government has set up an 80-member 'Fact-Checking Unit' (FCU) under the Department for Special Programme Implementation, which is under the control of Udhayanadhi Stalin.
Iyan Karthikeyan, the former editor in chief of the YouTube channel YouTurn, in a post on X (formerly Twitter), stated that he had been appointed as the Mission Director of the unit.
According to a report by The Commune, while YouTurn claimed to be an organisation focused on fact-checking, it frequently targeted critics of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
Regarding the powers of the FCU, The Hindu reported that the unit could take suo moto cognisance or act based on complaints received regarding information related to the government.
The FCU would have a Central Task Force (CTF) in Chennai and information analysts in all districts. The CTF would analyse the complaints through fact-checking tools and compare the information with government sources and then divide the complaints into actionable and non-actionable pools.
The task force would then consult the advisory teams of the Legal and Police departments and send the details to appropriate authorities for taking 'legal action,' stated the report.
Political commentator Savukku Shankar said that the powers granted to the FCU are "draconian."
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