Social media is once again the root cause of all tensions in the country. Yesterday, the National Integration meet happened at the backdrop of the recent Muzaffarnagar riots that claimed 48 lives. As predicted by news reports issues that would top the agenda of the day long gathering – preventing and tackling communal violence and finding ways to curb social media in spreading hatred through morphed and falsified pictures and videos besides inflammatory articles during such times came true.
According to NDTV Gadgets, the misuse of social media to spread objectionable content and hatred among communities on Monday came under attack from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a number of Chief Ministers, who demanded some mechanism to check its uncontrolled use.
The gathering which was attended by a 148-member body that included Union Ministers, Leaders of the Opposition in Parliament, chief ministers, leaders of national and regional political parties, eminent people from media, etc. was chaired by the Prime Minister, who expressed serious concern over growing incidents of communal violence especially with elections round the corner.
He also added that the recent communal violence in some cases have brought to notice circulation of fake videos aimed at inciting the feeling of hatred in one community towards the other while comparing the present riots in UP with the 2012 Northeast tensions.
“Social media helps youngsters to get new information and new thought. It should be used in ensuring brotherhood and communal harmony.
It is necessary to maintain independence of giving opinion and views by people in social media. But at the same time, it is also important that we do not let miscreants and troublemakers to misuse social media. I feel today’s meeting will look into the issue of misuse of social media and deliberate on it,” added the PM.
In fact the PM has just referred what the UP administration had earlier stated that the violence is catching more fire due to social media and mobile messaging apps which are helping to spread misinformation and panic.
According to sources the video that was being circulated, claimed to capture the killing of two men who were trying to protect a woman from being harassed. However, UP home secretary Kamal Saxena has said that the video is a two year old one and was shot in some other country. A BJP MLA has also been booked in this case.
This isn’t the first time when we are writing about politicians placing the blame on social media. We have seen the same happening whenever there are clashes in Kashmir or the last seen communal violence that occurred in the North Eastern states. The moot question is if we block technology will such incidents stop happening? Or is it that we are not focusing on the root cause of such communal violence incidents as the general elections are inching closer.