Social media again fails to find appreciation from the present UPA government in the country. Addressing the conference of state DGPs/IGPs in the capital New Delhi, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has once again lamented that “mischievous” use of the social media is sparking off communal trouble, ethnic clashes and reviving militancy in states like Punjab, and said there was need to monitor such propaganda over the internet.
Though the minister added that his government favours freedom of expression but the misuse of social media needs to be checked and monitored. Citing the Muzaffarnagar riots, the minister added, “More recently, the Muzaffarnagar riots were fanned by similar misuse (of the social media to circulate inflammatory videos).”
The three-day DGP conference being held in the capital is also conducting dedicated sessions on social media misuse. During the discussions the Home minister expressed concern at attempts to revive militancy in Punjab by misuse of cyberspace to “unleash distorted narrative about emotive events and issues on the internet to misguide the youth”.
It is being told that the Punjab police in September this year detected such activity on Facebook, where Sikh youth were found networking and conspiring to attack Indian leaders accused of killing Sikhs during the 1984 riots. The timely action by the Punjab police did fetch some praise from the minister.
Fear from social media is not new for Sushilkumar Shinde. Last month while laying the foundation stones of BSF and SSB battalion headquarters at Sitarganj in Uttarakhand he had stated that the Centre is contemplating measures to stop misuse of social media, which poses a serious threat to internal security.
The concern was same from the minister – “We have no problem with judicious use of social media. But we will have to mull steps to check its misuse for creating social confrontation or communal tension.”
We wonder with the Centralized Monitoring System (CMS) already in place, as a watchdog on our online behavior, what more additional checks the government wants to place.