SMACK Report #29: Should social media be monitored and moderated by the government? |

SMACK Report #29: Should social media be monitored and moderated by the government? |

Social media has taken a 180 degree turn for us. It’s just not a means of entertainment anymore; rather it’s a storehouse of information. But it has proven to be a convinient medium to spread rumor as well. Take the case of North-Eastern community being unsafe in Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

The SMACK team had differences in their opinion on this topic. Sam said, “A little moderation is not going to harm. If the government thinks that some posts needs moderation, they should go ahead with it”.

The question which lingers in the air is “is this going to kill democracy as we know it?”. UPA government seems to have a strong opinion about this. They seemed to adopt China’s Internet policy (seems harsh). India’s pride has always been our freedom of speech and expression and social media is very mature. It doesn’t let gossip flourish. When Bangalore went haywire, it was social media which asked people not to panic. Moreover the live updates from people in the affected city helped. So, is it right to curb social media? Sanjib pointed out that, if there is something anti-national going on, the Government should stop it before it turns to an unpleasant snowball.

In recent past, we have seen some of the state governments putting an unofficial ban on criticisms published against their government. Even trivial issues such as cartoon/caricature stirred up controversy which ultimately led to arrests (though the state government was made to pay a fine to those individuals later by the state high court, but) this seems to have an immense effect on the way social media works.

Any government, instead of being averse to it, should actually be using it to communicate and engage its people for the betterment of the policies (who can deny, it’s the fastest way to reach this generation). It has been observed that overall; the governments have been scared of social media for its open end nature. People discuss anything and everything on a platform like Twitter, from news to day-to-day even, from jokes to wedding. We are all connected through an invisible thread of World Wide Web. So why shouldn’t any government take advantage of this scenario? They can use it to build their rapport (check the Modi Hangout).

Tweets on this topic as it went out:

“Discussion started by @deepudost He opines – “Social media should be monitored, but not moderated” #smackmg

#smackmg @shilps31 opines: Why block? Is this democracy or dictatorship.. ? #GoIBlocks didn’t trend without a reason

#smackmg @samun14 Under normal circumstances government doesn’t monitor social media. But during riots/war, monitoring makes sense.”

Our gratitude to ShilpaSam and Susmit for their immense help and of course, their time.

Let us know what you think?

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