Gist of Rules For Social Media Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC

UPSC: Gist of Rules For Social Media Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC

The document Gist of Rules For Social Media Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV).
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC
Context

The Union government informed Parliament that it is in the process of amending rules pertaining to the Information and Technology sector so that social media platforms could be made more responsive and accountable to Indian laws. 

Background

  • The step has been taken amid the ongoing row with Twitter over the delay in the suspension of several accounts.
  • The government stated that the new rules will also ensure digital media platforms adhere to the Code of Ethics. 
Summary of the Debate

Ongoing Tussle Between Government And Social Media Giant

  • A spat has been going on between Twitter and the Indian government over a suspension list, which contains mention of over 1000 accounts that need to be suspended or at least blocked in India for spreading fake news and hatred on ongoing farmers’ protest in the country. 
  • The social media firm has refused to act against all the accounts mentioned in the list, stating that it will not suspend accounts that belong to the media, journalists and activists to uphold freedom of speech and expression.
  • Government announced that it respect social media a lot and Social media has a big role in the Digital India programme. However, if social media is misused to spread fake news and violence, then action will be taken.
  • Twitter mentioned that it has initiated multiple enforcement actions, including permanently suspending more than 500 accounts for clear violations of its rules, in response to ''legal requests'' from the India government. 
    • However, the social media firm has refused to act against all the accounts mentioned in the list, stating that it will not suspend accounts that belong to the media, journalists and activists to uphold freedom of speech and expression. 

Social Media And Its Need

  • Social media can be defined as any web or mobile based platform that enables an individual or agency to communicate interactively and enables exchange of user generated content.
  • Social Media in recent times has become synonymous with Social Networking sites such as Facebook or Micro Blogging sites such as Twitter
  • Need for Using Social Media: Social media have emerged as a powerful platform for forming an opinion as well as generating mass support. These sites offer an opportunity to reach out this audience at a key stroke.
    • Social Media releases the shackles of time and place for engagement. They can connect policy makers to stakeholders in real time.
    • In tradition forms of media, interaction with individual user is either not possible or is very limited. Social Media platform offers the ability to connect with each and every individual.

Need For Social Media Guidelines 

  • Given its characteristics to potentially give “voice to all”, immediate outreach and 24*7 engagement, Social Media offers a unique opportunity to governments to engage with their stakeholders especially citizens in real time to make policy making citizen centric. 
  • Many governments across the world as well many government agencies in India are using various social media platforms to reach out to citizens, businesses and experts to seek inputs into policy making, get feedback on service delivery, create community based programmes etc. 
  • However, many apprehensions remain including, but not limited to issues related to authorization to speak on behalf of department/agency, technologies and platform to be used for communication, scope of engagement, creating synergies between different channels of communication, compliance with existing legislations etc.
  • It is therefore felt that Guidelines for use of Social Media are required which would enable project owners/implementers to effectively use these platforms.

Problem with Digital Platfoms

  • Many times they do not check the content which is being published to spread the fake and hate news.
  • Mostly the overseas players do not follow the jurisdiction of the law of the land and many of them even do not exist in India
  • Regulating the content of these platforms is a challenge for authorities, because it cannot be done easily. 

Way Forward

  • India has been welcomed to all tech companies but India also expects that they should abide by Indian laws. 
  • Entities which enjoy a large followings certainly are in a position of responsibility and they must understand that the manner in which they choose to abide by the law and conduct themselves effectively sets an example for every other entity in that particular space. 
  • The government has right to regulate and no sector can be outside the purview of government intervention and let the social media giants not mess with the local geography and abide by the rules of the land. 

Section 69A of the Information Technology Act

  • It offers the power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource.
  • This is done in the interest of-
  • sovereignty and integrity of India
  • defence of India, security of the State
  • friendly relations with foreign States
  • public order (or)
  • for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above
The document Gist of Rules For Social Media Notes | Study Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV) - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Gist of Rajya Sabha TV / RSTV (now Sansad TV).
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

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