The Indian Government is back to its basics on social media. According to TOI, the government has given its final confirmation to block 306 Twitter accounts. The decision was taken by a high level government review committee which comprised of cabinet secretary Ajit Seth, telecom secretary R Chandrasekhar and legal affairs secretary B A Agarwal. The committee decided the blocking of the accounts in the wake of communal violence in Assam’s Kokrajhar district and the large scale migration of people from the South.
A total of 310 accounts were under a review by the committee for some time now. The committee thinks that the accounts that have been blocked are dangerous since they have the potential to inflame communal tensions in the country.
In addition to this, the Secretary of department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) had a meeting with the representatives of Google, Facebook, etc. for obtaining more details about the up-loaders of the objectionable content on the receptive networks. However, according to the latest reports the companies have not provided any details about the up-loaders.
Uploading objectionable content shouldn’t be tolerated but will the mere blocking of accounts serve the purpose. Last year we had seen that most of the parody accounts of the Prime Minister were blocked. However most of them were re-activated in no time. So the Indian government should realize that blocking is a temporary means towards what it is looking for.
It’s ironic that on one hand it is investing time and money to understand the nuances of social media but at the same time it is rampantly blocking and curbing voices under the banner of hate speech. Not sure if the Indian government or for that matter any government around the world would show intent to incorporate social media in the way it should be.
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