While addressing the Parliament session on Thursday 11th February, the minister for electronics and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has claimed that social media platforms have to strictly follow the Indian Government laws or policy, and if anyone fails to do that, they must face strict action by the government. The government is trying to put caps on using and posting on social media so that fake news is not spread to a larger audience and create the ruckus and indulge people in unlawful practices. The discussions are open, as the social media should have some filtration as per government so that it does not harm the peace and harmony of the country.

He as well as added that the government is trying to frame some new rules and policy, for the enterprises such as Twitter and Facebook with more reactive ways and answerable to Indian law and its framework. During his Speech, Mr. Prasad has put his word that government is in the favour of freedom of speech and expression but will not tolerate any kind of verbal abuse on social media platforms that spreads fake news and try to manipulate the thought process of the people.

He stated that “Government respects social media. They also appreciate criticism. But what we will not accept is tolerate the misuse of public platforms for the spread the false news. Today, from the platform in Parliament, I urge these parties, whether it is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or WhatsApp, or anyone, they are free to work in India, do business, but they need to respect the Indian Constitution, they need to respect the Indian law,” 

“When a corporation becomes a platform, you create the principles to assess what's wrong and what's right. But that does not mean that the laws of India will not apply to them,” Prasad said, after telling Parliament that his ministry and therefore the information and broadcasting ministry were performing on new guidelines. They are trying to make the framework in this way that, even freedom is not affected and people can share their thoughts without violation. 

According to officials conversant in the matter, the rules are likely to be finalized soon to make sure that social media platforms “take responsibility” and be held in charge of the content shared on them. As intermediaries, social media are not susceptible to face action for posts made by users.

Image Credit: Hindustan Times