Should Social Media Sites Be Banned In India?August 29, 2012
Should social media sites like Facebook and Twitter be banned in India? This has been a long debate in India due to the rumors that spread recently in the east that caused thousands of people to leave their homes. I was invited on a show ‘Prime Debate’ at ‘Day and Night‘ news channel on August 22, 2012 for a discussion/debate on the same along with four intellectuals belonging to different streams.
Due to short of time, I couldn’t talk on the technical aspect of it much. But 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 and 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 and must report the same to Facebook. Once Facebook starts receiving abuse reports, it takes appropriate action. Unfortunately many of us don’t even know that such an option exists. Besides that, today Artificial Intelligence (AI) is so advanced that many of its algorithms can be incorporated to filter out junk material. If Facebook tries to integrate such algorithms in their website, 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. But I would still say that 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 and 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 was just a medium just like mobile phones or print media and so there seems no sense to ban it altogether.
You can watch the show in two parts below.
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