Govt Wants To Block All Anti-National Activities On Internet; Policy To Regulate Social Media Soon!
As per a recent research, Whatsapp was found to be the primary source of news for over 50% of respondents from 34 countries. This means that social media platforms are becoming the new-age televisions and radios for the masses.
Understanding the vulnerabilities which come along due to this new ‘trend’, Govt. of India has decided to reign in the medium.
As per reports coming in, Govt. will soon announce a new ‘Social media policy’, whose aim would be to monitor, check and stop anti-national activities on the Internet.
As per a report by PTI, representatives from several security agencies met and discussed the framework for such social media policy.
It seems that guidelines would be formed, according to which every social media user will post content and share it. The guidelines would be formulated based on one objective: to stop anti-national activities on social media and to curb content which incites hate and violence.
This is not the first time that Govt. has decided to bring in such reforms. In 2015, we had reported that Govt will soon create laws to check ‘sensitive’ news being spread on social media. This recent development seems a logical extension of the same.
Last year, Govt. made it mandatory to obtain a license to create/manage a Whatsapp group in Jammu and Kashmir.
But.. Why does Social Media need To Be Regulated?
The reason is that more and more people are now relying on social media for consuming news, and they believe anything and everything which is shared online.
This can lead to chaos, violence and murders as well. And in most of the cases, such murders and violence are against innocents or against those who haven’t been proven guilty by the law. Legally, this is called mob justice, and then it combines with fake/false news, then the situation can become extreme.
Take, for instance, the public lynching of 7 people in Jharkhand in May this year. Rumours started on Whatsapp regarding child kidnappers, and soon a mob formed which zeroed in on these 7 people, and killed them.
This month, UP Govt. had to block some social media portals and apps, after riots broke out between two communities in Saharanpur, and the base of this riot was some misunderstanding propagated on Whatsapp.
In 2015, a fake Tweet of communal riots in Kolkata spread panic and concern all over the country, and it almost inspired an actual riot. Imagine the consequences, if riots actually happened, and killed people, all because of a fake tweet.
In 2015, UP Police Chief blamed social media for lynching incidents (like Dadri), and in 2014, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “In recent years, the social media has been increasingly used (in India) to instigate communal riots,”
Personally, I am against regulation of social media and curbing freedom of Internet users. But if fake online propaganda by haters is causing deaths, then it seems that there has to be a law to check such incidents.
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