want for balancing between state regulation and self-regulation – TwoCircles.web

India has one of the largest populations of social media users Image: Aviv Digital

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In recent years, social media has emerged as one of the most important methods of providing immediate relief in the event of natural disasters and Covid-19, especially in a large country like India. Hence, social media regulation and reform need to be brought in line with the right to life, which is enriched in our constitution.

Dr. Ahmed Raza | TwoCircles.net

A new foundation for social media and journalistic independence was legally strengthened after the Indian Supreme Court recently ordered that state governments and law enforcement agencies crack down on social media. The order came in response to police crackdown on the use of Facebook, Twitter, etc. by individuals during the ongoing second wave of pandemics, in which medical or administrative assistance was sought by providing information about the lack of beds, oxygen, medicines , Intensive care units, ventilators, ambulances, etc. have been replaced. in government and private hospitals.

The second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in India must be viewed by the government, health administration, healthcare industry, etc. as a large number of unfortunate cases of death, bed and drug shortages, oxygen supply and lack of coordination among agencies, etc. have been reported by Social -Media platforms reported. However, the authenticity, reliability and facts of social media coverage have always been questioned by the existing state governments as several states always remain intact to reach number one among the Covid-19 administrative states. Even some of the states, namely Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, have emphatically booked various cases against the citizens seeking help on social media platforms in their emergencies. The governments of these states argued that these social media posts spread misinformation about the availability of resources in hospitals and thereby caused panic in society.

However, under the order of the Supreme Court, it is a legal right to uncover complaints or seek help on social media, emergencies, or similar situations such as natural disasters. At the same time, we cannot abuse social media freedom in the name of freedom of expression, as manipulation on social media has undoubtedly contributed to other sensitive issues in our society, such as: B. political polarization, the increase in the crime of mob lynching and the triggering of community conflict, communalism through hate speech, conversion of nationals into anti-nationals, etc. This article tries to explore the possibilities of social media reforms according to the legal To examine provisions, the right to freedom, the right to privacy, the right to life, etc., which must be seen as a balanced approach in dealing with social media reforms in India. India has become the seventh largest market for social media websites as it offers every citizen the opportunity to discuss political and social issues and express their views on the platforms.

The first political experiment in India could be linked to BJP, which mainly focused on social media campaigns during the 2014 election to attract the attention of the youth. This resulted in a major victory for the BJP over the Congress party. Over the years, social media abuse by members of some members of society seemed like an unguided rocket that always posed a threat to the basic ideals of the state. Hence, social media reforms in India are essential for the government.

Below are the two models of social media reforms that offer a balanced approach between different rights such as freedom of expression, right of access to information, right to privacy, etc.

Need for regulation
It is expected that the social media content can be published on a public portal in accordance with the freedom of expression and expression provided for in Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution. Although a large number of incidents of abuse of the social media platform by citizens, political parties and social activists have been reported whose views would be contrary to the security, sovereignty and integrity of the state, or endanger or disregard public order of the court. Such cases of freedom of expression need to be regulated, as social media leaves everyone free.

The role of social media in increasing the hatred and inhuman crime of mob lynching has been felt in recent years.

Social media has also been misused to contribute to community violence by distributing fake, fabricated and tampered with messages and videos.

Many states in India, including Karnataka and Pune, experienced an exodus of northeastern students and people from southern Indian states in 2012 due to incitement to flawed social media propaganda. The conversion of national or intolerant individuals into anti-nationals has become a common feature of social media platforms by tempering the original videos, pictures and messages before uploading them to the social media websites to create a narrative against the Create target audience. Such misinformation and illegal activities are the consequences of the unrestricted use of social media platforms, which are used as an open access tool in the hands of citizens, political parties, etc. and which must be formally regulated according to constitutional provisions.

Don’t censor calls for medical help on social media
In many cases, the government cannot formally censor the content on social media, e.g. E.g. when publishing critical views on policies, governance models and calls for help in health emergencies. The Chief Justice of the Tripura Supreme Court noted by and large that posting on social media was equivalent to a “fundamental right” applicable to all citizens as the police had booked a man who had previously been posted for a social media post arrested against union government policies.

On the other hand, all citizens must be given full freedom to expose the grievances and they must be free to seek help in emergencies or natural disasters. Posting on such subjects is tied to a person’s right to life. In recent years, social media has emerged as one of the main methods of the emergency response mechanism for natural disasters and Covid-19. Hence, social media regulation must be brought into line with the right to life, which is enriched in our constitution.

Numerous cases have been reported over the past decade of social media being used as quick information to authorities when a single life was at high risk.

The first instance occurred in the Uttarakhand floods, where Twitter played an important role in helping the people. At the same time in 2015, during a cyclone in Chennai, the social media platform Facebook acted as a tool to keep people safe by introducing a feature called “Safety Check” that allowed users to mark themselves as safe and her friends and acquaintances would get to know it.

To sum up, social media seems to be a lifeline for many today during the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, as they could use social media to inform the authorities of their situation. Informing the authorities can result in government agencies, civil societies, NGOs, etc. resolving their complaints or problems in a timely manner. So it is time to think about reforming social media rather than regulating social media in terms of their relevance to society.

Dr. Ahmed Raza is Assistant Professor at MANUU (a central university) and Project Leader (MRP, ICSSR), Ministry of Education of the Government of India.

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