Should social media sites like Facebook and Twitter be banned in India? This has been a long debate in India. But due to the rumours that spread recently in the north east that caused thousands of people to leave their homes. The “Day and Night” news channel invited me on a show named “Prime Debate” on August 22, 2012 for a discussion/debate on the same subject. There were also four other guests along with me, belonging to different streams. You can watch the show (in two parts) below.
I feel that we, as users should also use social networking websites carefully, keeping in mind the internet etiquette. For e.g., Facebook provides an option to report inappropriate content. This option is available with every entity, be it a Facebook page, Facebook profile or even a Facebook comment. We must not share any such content that encourages superstition or that affects the national harmony. We must also report the same to Facebook. Once Facebook starts receiving abuse reports, it will take appropriate actions. Unfortunately many of us don’t even know that such an option exists.
Social Sites Should Also Be Responsible
Besides that, social media sites can incorporate many of the algorithms of “Artificial Intelligence (AI)” to filter out junk material. If Facebook tries to integrate such algorithms on their platform, it will certainly help to a great extent. Also instead of providing unlimited space, Facebook can also put limitations on the number of pictures and videos so that there is manageable data to track.
What Government Can Do!
Instead of blocking these sites, the government should take steps to build the trust amongst the minorities and the citizens of this country that everybody is safe irrespective of which religion he belongs to or in which state he lives in. I feel that more than a national security issue, this is a national integrity issue. It would have been a security issue if some information from the intelligence agencies had been leaked through social media sites. It is an issue related to national brotherhood and peace and so corrective steps must be taken in that direction. Social media is just a communication medium, just like mobile phones or print media and so there seems no sense to ban it altogether.