Social Media regulations: Slanting posts

SourceThe Hindu

Relevance: This article explains the control of Social media data in India

Synopsis:

Social media platforms should have the same standards for the government and the Opposition

Introduction

Several Twitter handles, associated with the Congress and its leaders, including its former president Rahul Gandhi, were blocked by Twitter in the last few days, for violating its user policy and the law of the land.

Twitter has revealed that the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) brought the violation to its notice. A petition in the Delhi HC seeking legal action against Mr. Gandhi has pointed out that his post was in violation of Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and Section 23(2) of the POSCO Act 2012.

  • Both the sections mandate that any material that might reveal (directly or indirectly) the identity of a child victim of a crime shall not be published.
What is the issue with Social media regulations?

Dual control over information is the major issue in social media.

  • The Centre claims that only a police investigation could establish whether the content was altered or not.
  • Social media companies on the other hand claim a right to unilaterally decide their user policy.
  • This is the core conflict between the state and private companies over controlling the information flow in a democratic society.
  • Both the state and the companies invoke public order and interest to justify their control over information.
Suggestions:

State agencies must exercise control over speech only in the rarest instances, and that too in the most transparent manner.

Private companies must be more transparent in enforcing their guidelines and reassure users that their standards for those in power and those in the Opposition are one.

Terms to know:

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